Sunday, April 6, 2008

Accidental Tomato Soup

Bit like buses, tomatoes. Big, red, and all arrive at the same time.

At EoD towers we’re enjoying something of a glut of the things, a result, perhaps, of over-zealous buying of potted seedlings earlier in the year. They certainly didn’t look terribly promising, a few small leaves on a spindly stem. That is why we bought so many, reckoning wrongly on one or two tomatoes per plant…

I have no idea what variety they are, but the fruit is large, irregular and firm, ripening to a pinkish red with vestiges of green remaining. And they crop massively, more than a dozen large fruit on a single plant, and most ripening within a day or two of each other. Whatever they are, they thrive in local soil and conditions, and particularly enjoy the occasional splosh of seaweed-based organic fertilizer.

Given such munificence, I set out to preserve some of our bounty for use later in the year, in the form of a sugo that I could bottle. So…

  • 1 kilo fresh home grown tomatoes (inc stalks)
  • 1 small red onion
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 500ml stock or water
  • Olive oil

Finely dice the onion and sweat in a little olive oil. When softened, add the finely sliced garlic and stir for a minute.

Roughly chop the tomatoes, and add everything including the tops (Heston Blumenthal reckons these intensify the tomato flavour, and who am I to disagree).

Add sufficient water or stock to barely cover the tomatoes (I used some organic chicken stock that needed using, but veg stock or water is fine), bring to the boil, then simmer over a low heat for about half an hour. You want the tomatoes to break down and the whole thing to reduce slightly.

Check and adjust seasoning, and add a little sugar – the amount is up to you, but do it bit by bit. You don’t need much, but you’ll find it makes a big difference to the intensity of flavour.

You could bottle as is (having removed the green tops), but I went one stage further.

Blitz to a smooth pulp with a hand blender, then pass through a fine sieve to remove the seeds.

Pour into sterilized jars, and seal.

And the accidental bit? When finished, what I had created tasted exactly like Heinz Cream of Tomato Soup!

Recipe contributed by Fat Guest EyeOnDubai

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