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Wednesday, 4 August 2010


I don't like soup. It goes cold while you're talking, during which time it develops a granular texture which makes my stomach turn. It involves a slurping, bits of the gunge bleed from other people's mouths and a nasty dragging of the spoon across the china bowl is akin to nails on a board. The anonymity of soup disturbs, too. Just how bendy was that friendless carrot prised from the botton of the fridge, how damp that seeping of celery?
If I manage to deal with that lot, then there's the miniscus of leavings lining the bowl to hate plus that, around now, someone always breaks off some bread to drag across said miniscus. It can make me really quite faint, but then I'm a delicate soul in permanent need of an excuse to collapse on the chaise longue.

However, this is very nice.

I mentioned on Facebook that I was going to make some soup mainly because for me it's quite an event when I put aside my shuddering and twitching and pretend I'm a normal person without Little Ways. Lots of people contacted me later asking for the recipe, so, for the nicest possible Roasted Tomato Soup, what happens is this. Quantities are vague. En passant, the pulped stage, of the roasted garlic and the toms alone, is a lovely base for pasta, for pizza bases. I use it a lot. The amount I've mentioned here, the 25 toms, will do soup for about 6 twice over, and a tupperware-ful for a pasta meal and pizza bases. Time well spent and easy peasy.

So, roast some tomatoes - I've just done about 25 big chunky ones, vine attached, and a bulb of garlic , bulb being the whole big thing - slug of oil, s&p, scattering of basil if it pleases you. The lot for 40 mins at about 190/200 (mine is a fierce oven). The success lies solely in the roasting. All the rest is window dressing. There is no need for any of that steeping in boiling water business, to de-skin, or to fiddle about with the seeds. Not if you have a beast of a food processor there isn't, anyway. Here's mine. Click and weep.

Meanwhile fry up a couple of red onions - last time I just chucked in some salad onions, too, because I only had one dismal little red chap and I felt embarrassed for it, knowing it wouldn't be up to the job without help.

When fried, blitz the onions in a processor (last time, I did indeed add some sad celery and a couple of predictably ropey carrots, too. As we all know, it's that or the compost bin. In the past, I've put in a couple of anchovies - not that I like them (cue more jerking), but in small quantities they add a nice saltiness and, again, the fridge needed clearing. Pesky tiny jars.)

[note: In retrospect, it's worth affirming that messing about with naff veg is a mistake. Particularly if you've princess stamped through your DNA like me. Keep it simple. The compost bin IS your friend. No need to pretend you're half way to being All That with bloody stock. Celery, my arse. It must be the most over-rated food-type substance on the planet.]

Put in a large pan.

When the toms are done, blitz them, maybe in batches, including the greenery: sometimes you have to fish out the fibrous bits which won't fall dutiful victim to the swishing blades, but it's all flavour-enhancing stuff so worth doing.

When cool enough squirt out the pulp of the garlic (a waiting game you only get wrong once... owch!)

If have 'em, blitz half a dozen of those sullen turds which go by the name of sun dried tomato. Don't think about it, just drop them in the machine. And don't fret if don't have, no one will die.

(at this stage you can save some of the thickened mixture for other recipes, it's a playing by ear thing)

Stir together in the pan with a tad more olive oil, a spoon of sugar (I don't always bother, toms are sweet enough, but sometimes the children like to "help" (the lies bloggers tell the world, me and my magazine children) and it's the sort of thing they can do without too much disaster); a hefty shake of Bouillon (vegan, reduced salt) powder and maybe a litre of water. Or, if you must, if you're a bone keeper and have bits of old carcass hanging around, real chicken stock. Bit of s&p.

While it's just sitting there simmering gently - for maybe 40 mins or until you're bored or hungry - make some pesto with random amounts of parmesan, olive oil, pine nuts and basil. Or, failing that, just grate some parmesan in. If I'm feeling uber-mummy, I'll have knocked up some tiny bread rolls in individual tins. Really.

The colour is that comforting orange of Heinz tomato soup, the taste is out of this world. Even for ghastly princesses. Just wear blinkers and ear puffs to save you from your fellow eaters.


The Contented? Maybe. said...

"Just how bendy was that friendless carrot prised from the bottom of the fridge?"
If it's less bendy than the contents of Uri Geller's cutlery drawer, I say it's in.
Sounds tasty. Just don't go spilling the red stuff on your ear muffs.

Fennie said...

Loved that Milla, even though the recipe still seems complicated to little me. I do love soup - unless it's cold, for cold soup I cannot abide. Even at Stalingrad they managed warm soup. My abiding image of soup and Stalingrad is this Russian woman who had found a cabbage stalk in some blitzed garden and made it into wonderful hot soup for the soldiers. It's a story I heard somewhere - infinitely sad - infinitely futile and reminds me how greedy I am thinking of attacking your delectable roast tomato confection with a freshly baked ciabatta roll liberally spread with white butter.
Slurp and wipe!

Elizabethd said...

Oh mmmmmm.
Love roasted tomato soup, but I think mine is slightly less complicated/lazy than yours!

Expat mum said...

Blimey, I thought my kids were fussy about soup. They won't eat my lovely split pea and veg because it's too "fuzzy". And the Ball & Chain won't eat any kind of cold soup.
This sounds lovely - will try it when feeling uber-mummyish next. (November?)

Chris Stovell said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Chris Stovell said...

Sorry that was me - I was so scared I pressed the button too soon!

I was doing all right until you added the dreaded T word. I don't mind soup but I'm terrified of tomatoes. Bleurgh!

Edward said...

Tomato soup? One word - gazpacho. God's own soup.

Carol said...

I love soup but I know exactly what you mean about the residue on the bowl...what I hate is the way that you always end up with it on your figners when you pick the bowl up...eeewwww!!

This recipe sounds fab...will definitely give it a go!

C x

Potty Mummy said...

'Uber mummy'? I don't mean to be rude Milla, but I just didn't have you down as a bread roll maker! I am beyond impressed, obviously, since soup is one thing but making your own bread; that is so far beyond my ken as to scare me just a little...

Milla said...

Oh, Potty, be scared, it is the wisest place to be.
Carol, like I needed more gloopy assocations. Eeewwwww indeedy.
Edwardo, gazpacho, yum. Too bloody cold these days though ... were we under an azure sky, well, sigh.
Chris, you are becoming ditzy. All that success has gone to your head.
Expatmum, they say fuzzy, they mean "disgusting," I'm with them in the growl corner
Elizd, complicated? Complicated! you're even lazier than me!
Fennie, lovely story but, please, if you want to stay a friend of mine, keep your slurpings to yourself.
Contented? OK, then, gymnastic carrots are go.
Thanks all!

sea-blue-sky & abstracts said...

Sounds delicious - but then, I like soup - and am still laughing at 'sullen turds'! Lesley

Anonymous said...

I love soup. Food for the lazy lady.

Cait O'Connor said...

I am the world's biggest lover of soup, both the eating (drinking?) of and the making of. You can chuck anything in and it will taste great. Roasted tomato...heaven! And as I am always saying It's good for you.....
PS Great to read your blog again.

Muddling Along Mummy said...

Sounds lovely (and yes avoids that soup made from the horrors of the bottom of the veggie box worry)

Bluestocking Mum said...

I tell you Milla, you want to have my jaw problems (not literally of course) but I've been living on soup and quite frankly once I've had my replacements, I don't think I'll ever look at another bowl again.

Recipe still sounds lovely and with weeks to go possibly, I might well try it.


CAMILLA said...

Oh goodie...... I am in soup heaven, thanks Milla honey.! positively yummy yum, anything with tom, onions, and garlic is a winner with me.

Shall note down the recipe for soup Milla, and give it a go. Mmm, think this should be on food forums, too good to let it pass by me thinks.


Exmoorjane said...

Missed this one and now quietly cackling... you should bloody well write a cookery book....
Have to say to Edward that, just bleeeeugggghhhhhhhhhhh (cue barfing noises) to any form of cold soup.