My Mama’s tomato soup was a staple in our house when we were growing up. Often, Mama made a big pan of Polish chicken soup one day and used the leftover vegetables to make tomato soup the next, adding tomato purée, cooked tomatoes and soured cream. If you have made the Polish chicken soup and are using the leftovers as your base, you can also add some shredded chicken for a more substantial meal. To keep this soup meat-free, use vegetable stock. If you are time-short, add a cup of tomato passata (sieved tomatoes) in place of the cooked fresh tomatoes. Tomato soup is often served with cooked white rice; I serve it with egg vermicelli or rice noodles.
- Yield: 8 Servings
- 2 litres/3½ pints/2 quarts chicken stock (ideally follow the Polish chicken soup method), or vegetable stock
- 1 bay leaf
- freshly ground black pepper
- 4 tbsp tomato purée (tomato paste)
- 1 tsp vegetable oil
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 6 fresh tomatoes, chopped
- 7 oz (200 g) cooked rice or cooked vermicelli
- 3 tbsp soured cream (optional)
- fresh parsley leaves, to garnish
- Pour the stock into a large pan, add the bay leaf and a twist of black pepper. Bring to the boil over a low heat, stir in the tomato purée and continue to simmer very gently.
- Heat the oil in a frying pan, add the onion and cook over a low heat for 7–10 minutes until soft. Add the fresh tomatoes and cook for a further 5 minutes.
- Transfer the onions and tomatoes to a food processor and blitz to a smooth purée. If you have made the Polish chicken soup and have any leftover vegetables, you can blitz these too for an even better flavour and a slightly thicker soup.
- Tip the purée into the stock, stir and bring back to the boil.
- Add the cooked rice or vermicelli and any leftover shredded chicken, if using.
- Stir in the soured cream, if using. Remove the bay leaf and serve the soup while piping hot, adding a sprinkle of parsley.