Monday, 10 August 2015

Recipe CXXIV: Home-Made Spicy Tomato Soup

Cooking on a Sunday is one of life's pleasures, and this weekend was one of those. As our guests were bringing the dessert, I decided to make a starter. This one is one of the finest things you can do in a kitchen, and it really is so, so simple.

2 kg fresh tomatoes
1 green chili pepper
1 red chili pepper - keep some of the seeds, depending on how spicy you want it
1 sweet red pepper
1 large onion
4-6 cloves of garlic 
All of the above chopped into pieces

Three-quarters of a bottle of red wine
A teaspoonful of a red spice (cayenne pepper or even tandoori masala)
5 teaspoonfuls of Worcestershire sauce
3 thick slices of white bread
A fresh basil plant from a reputable supermarket, leaves broken 
50 g butter
Salt to taste

Put a lot of butter in a large, heavy non-stick frying pan or saucepan. While it is melting, add the onions and a pinch of salt, and fry gently for a few minutes - you don't want the onions to burn and crisp up. Add the peppers and garlic. Let them slowly sweat until soft. Then add the red wine and Worcestershire sauce.
(To give it your own personal touch, you could always use a variation - just use your imagination - something like Tabasco sauce, or red wine vinegar, soy sauce or even balsamic vinegar, but make sure whatever you use, the flavours fit!)

Let the red wine and Worcestershire sauce reduce by about half until it turns into something less liquid and more gloopy.

You are now ready to add the tomatoes. Put a lid on top, turn the heat right down to a gentle simmer and let the tomatoes soften until they are easily crushed.

Once they are really soft, add the basil, bread and red spices. Let the contents of the pan mingle for 10 minutes or so, while the bread soaks up some of the liquid.

Pass the contents of the pan through a blender and pour into a serving bowl.

Serve with a nice bottle of red wine. We chose Louis Ch├Ęze Caroline Saint-Joseph 2011, a fantastic wine that really highlights the spiciness of the soup.


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