Tomato soup is a much-loved meal and it is very easy to make — you don’t even need a punnet of fresh tomatoes.
Darina Allen’s easy recipe allows you to substitute two tins of tomatoes instead of homemade puree, cutting down the cooking time significantly.
Whip this up in half an hour and enjoy it with some crusty bread for lunch, just remember to taste-test as you go.
Creamy tomato soup
Deliciously easy, this soup can be made with good quality tinned tomatoes
Preparation Time 10 mins
Cooking Time 20 mins
Total Time 30 mins
For the béchamel sauce:
110 g butter
110 g flour
1 pint milk
Few slices of carrot
Few slices of onion
Small sprig of thyme
Small sprig of parsley
Salt and freshly ground pepper
750 ml homemade tomato purée
or 2 x tins of tomatoes, liquidized and sieved
1 small onion, finely chopped
15 g butter
250 ml homemade chicken stock or vegetable stock
2 tablespoons freshly chopped basil
Salt, freshly ground pepper and sugar
120 ml cream
Melt the butter and cook the flour in it for 2 minutes on a low heat, stirring occasionally. Use as required. Roux can be stored in a cool place and used as required or it can be made up on the spot if preferred. It will keep at least a fortnight in a refrigerator.
Put the cold milk into a saucepan with the carrot, onion, peppercorns, thyme and parsley. Bring to the boil, simmer for 4-5 minutes, remove from the heat and leave to infuse for 10 minutes. Strain out the vegetables, bring the milk back to the boil and thicken to a light coating consistency by whisking in 45g of roux. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper, taste and correct seasoning if necessary.
Sweat the onion in the butter on a gentle heat until soft but not coloured. Add the tomato purée (or chopped tinned tomatoes plus juice), Béchamel sauce and homemade chicken stock. Add the chopped basil, season with salt, freshly ground pepper and sugar. Bring to the boil and simmer for a few minutes.
Liquidize, taste and dilute further if necessary. Bring back to the boil, correct seasoning and serve with the addition of a little cream if necessary. Garnish with a tiny blob of whipped cream and some basil.
Tinned tomatoes need a surprising amount of sugar to counteract the acidity.
Fresh milk cannot be added to the soup – the acidity in the tomatoes will cause it to curdle
This soup needs to be tasted carefully as the final result depends on the quality of the homemade purée, stock etc.