There are so many different varieties of soups that the list is almost endless but in my opinion you still have to go some way to beat the good old traditional tomato soup. It’s simple to make and yet full of goodness and always warms you up ready to face another cold day here in Moscow – ok it’s not quite got to that level just yet but you have to be prepared you know.
1 finely chopped white onion
3 finely chopped clove of garlic
4 inch piece of celery finely chopped
1 medium carrot peeled and finely chopped
5 medium tomatoes cored and quartered
1 tbsp tomato paste
Pinch finely chopped fresh basil
Pinch of salt, pepper and sugar
1 cup of chicken stock
1 heaped tbsp sour cream
Parsley leaf for decoration
Firstly I finely chopped one white onion and set to one side in a bowl. Then I finely chopped 3 cloves of garlic and put in the bowl with the onion. Then I took a 4 inch piece of celery and finely chopped and added to the bowl. Lastly I then chopped one medium carrot and placed this into the bowl.
I then heated two tablespoons of oil in a deep saucepan and once very hot I put all the vegetables in and fried for about ten minutes or until soft and beginning to lighten in colour. Once the vegetables were soft I stirred in one tablespoon of tomato paste ensuring all the vegetables are covered. Then I took out of the fridge five medium size tomatoes and cored them and cut into quarters and added to the saucepan with a pinch of salt, pepper and sugar. I simmered this for approx ten minutes until the tomatoes started to go mushy. Then I poured in one cup of chicken stock, a few chopped basil leaves and turned the heat up to bring it to a boil for three minutes and then put it to simmer for 20 minutes or until the tomatoes have softened completely.
I then set this to one side to cool for fifteen minutes and then blended to make nice and smooth. If you have a hand blender you can keep it in the saucepan but I had to transfer mine to a blender in stages. Once I had blended all of the tomato soup I put it through a fine sieve to take out all the skins and seeds of the tomatoes. You can always skin and de-seed the tomatoes to begin with but I find this quicker and easier and it’s always best to put the final mixture through a sieve anyway. Once I had sieved the soup I placed it back in the saucepan and onto the heat to heat through and added a knob of butter right at the end once it’s come to a boil. At this stage you could always stir in a little cream but all I had was some sour cream so I stirred in a good heaped tablespoon of sour cream just before serving. I then poured into a bowl and garnished with a leaf of parsley and served with some black bread.