Here in England, we are in the depths of Winter, so I have turned to comfort food for my inspiration. The definition of comfort food for me is my mother’s cream of tomato soup; thick and satisfying it never fails to cheer me up. As fresh tomatoes are not so tasty, at this time of year I have revisited my mum’s recipe using tinned tomatoes infused with a hint of fresh rosemary. I find this soup completely irresistible served with toast with a thick layer of hummus spread on top or a grilled cheese and red onion sandwich; dip it in and let the thoughts of winter melt away as you feel warm and content. This soup brings back wonderful memories and makes me smile.
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 25 minutes
Vegan Option, Gluten Free Option,
For the soup
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 medium onions, roughly chopped (as you will blend them once cooked)
1 stick of celery, strings removed and chopped small
1 1/2 tablespoons plain flour or buckwheat flour (for gluten free)
250 ml (8.5 oz)/ 1 container soya cream
2 x 400g (14.5 oz) tins of chopped tomatoes
3 teaspoons vegetable bouillon (I like Marigold reduced salt) or 1 vegetable stock cube, with 500 ml (2 cups) boiling water
2-3 tablespoon freshly chopped rosemary leaves, stalks removed
1 teaspoon coconut sugar or agave nectar
3 tablespoons tomato purée
1 tablespoon tamari (gluten free) or soya sauce
sea salt and pepper
In a medium saucepan heat the oil over a gentle heat and add the onions and celery and allow them to soften slightly, for approx. 4 minutes.
Stir in the flour, then slowly pour in the soya cream, stirring all the time until smooth.
Pour in the tins of tomatoes slowly, so the soup does not separate, stirring well.
Gradually stir in the prepared vegetable stock, stirring constantly until mixed well. (I like to pour a little of the stock into the tomato tins rinsing them around, then back into the stock jug to get all the tomato juices out).
Add the chopped rosemary, sweetener, purée and tamari, stirring well to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste (check if the stock you use is high in salt, if yes I wouldn’t add any at this stage).
Bring the soup to a gently simmer and cook for five minutes. Once the soup is cooked through, blitz with a hand blender until smooth. Serve and enjoy.