Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Yay it's cold!

I know I know everyone is probably not very happy that it is pouring with rain and the skies are grey – except me! Our family loves this kind of weather, maybe it’s because I’m from Melbourne, but I am so happy when the sky gets grey and it’s cold and raining, time to start cooking warm and comforting things to eat,
like soup…

I’ve been searching for organic heirloom tomatoes for what seems like a lifetime, no one seems to have them, so I have a collection of whatever organic tomatoes I could get my hands on, to make my tomato soup.
Autumn for me, is the perfect time of year for a warming bowl of soup served with some toasted bread with garlic and oil, for lunch or dinner.
There's nothing better if you ask me...I could live on soup.

I’m not really sure how many tomatoes I ended up with for my soup(see my photo).
But there was a lot. 
Roasting them first will give them a concentrated, delicious sweet flavour.
And it’s so easy, put everything in a baking tray, pop in the oven and leave for 3 hours on a low heat – nothing to it. 
Blend, sieve and serve.

Preheat your oven to 180c, then turn it down to 150c when you put your tray in.
(Always keep an eye out - as all ovens are different, I have a crap oven – with the fan on at 150c it’s more like 180c)

You’ll need roughly:

3kg of tomatoes – mixed varieties – washed and cut in quarters
(Heirloom tomatoes would be unbelievable)

1 small head of garlic – smashed with a knife (skins removed)

2 medium purple onions (skins removed) cut into quarters

2 red or yellow capsicum (optional – I’ve never used them before, but they were delicious) de-seeded and cut up roughly

1 long red chilli (again optional – and not used prior to this batch) cut in half,
remember to de-seed the chilli if you don't like it hot and don't use chilli if your making it for the kidlets.

3 stalks of fresh pungent rosemary

A handful of sage (my favourite)

A good slug of Extra Virgin Olive Oil – about ½ cup (remembering this is going to help make the liquid for your soup)

Lots of Salt and pepper – remember tomatoes and salt – match made in heaven!

Also a tablespoon of sugar if your making this in the wrong season and your tomatoes aren’t so special!

Pop it all in your tray and mix well, they place in your preheated oven and forget about it for at least 3 hours.

Once cooked let cool a little then blitz the tomato mixture in a blender or food processor till super smooth. 
Then pass it through a sieve, so there is no bits (stalks and skins). 
Put the tomato soup in a saucepan and check consistency – this makes enough for 8 entrees 6 mains. 
I will freeze half of the soup and the other half I added ½ cup of milk (to thin it out a little) and 100ml cream (or however much you like)and warmed gently on a low heat.

A drizzle of oil, a spoon full of pesto, some hot toasted garlicky, oily bread and you're ready to get cosy and eat!
Mangia, Mangia!!!

*To make the basil oil: 
In a mortar and pestle put a few leaves of basil and 2 tablespoons of good olive oil
work your magic
drizzle in your bowl of soup

©Michelle Schoeps 2013
All photos taken by Michelle Schoeps

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