Br…rr it’s cold outside and I want something to warm me up on this cold, blustery day in the Lake District.
Homemade soup is a joy to eat and never fails to raise the spirit-not to mention keeping you warm inside. You can easily add a a few soups to your favourite list of foods; leek and lentil, creamy onion with bubbling cheesy toasts, chunky spiced vegetable. or what about beef soup with dumplings. Tomato soup is the stuff of childhood but this soup is nothing like the sweet, creamy, canned version I used to have. Homemade it has a bright and fresh flavour. You could add torn basil leaves and spice it up with a little chilli powder. For a more substantial meal try these homemade croutons. They transform any soup.
This soup is lovely to eat, keeps you warm and is cheap to make………..a win win situation. Here is my homemade soup made with love for you…
HOMEMADE TOMATO SOUP with CHEESY CROUTONS
Serves 4 (easy to double up)
1 large onion, peeled
2 large carrot, scrubbed and peeled
A little oil
1 400g can of chopped tomatoes
1 stock cube i.e. chicken
2 tbsp. tomato puree
2 bay leaves
2 tbsp. Lea & Perrins sauce*
2 tbsp. lemon juice
1 tbsp. brown sugar
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
1. Chop the onion and carrot up small. Heat the oil in a large pan and gently fry until the vegetables are golden.
2. Add the tomato puree and stir for a few minutes. Add the can of chopped tomatoes, water, and stock cube. Bring to a simmer and stir until the stock cube is dissolved. Add the bay leaves. Leave to simmer for about 40 minutes. Remove the bay leaves.
3. Using a hand-held blender whizz until smooth (if you prefer you can leave it ‘chunky’).
4. Add the Lea & Perrins, lemon juice and sugar. Stir well until the sugar is dissolved.
5. Taste the soup and add more lemon juice/sugar if you want. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.
6. Serve in mugs with some crunchy bread.
CRISPY CHEESY CROUTONS
2 slices of white bread
1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp. finely grated fresh Parmesan cheese
1 clove of garlic
1. Pre-heat the oven to gas mark4, 350F,180C.
2. Remove the crusts from the bread and cut into small squares. Place in a bowl with 1 tbsp of olive oil, the Parmesan and garlic.
3. Mix around until they are evenly coated then spread on a baking tray and bake for about 10 minutes. WATCH THEM CAREFULLY-THEY BURN VERY EASILY. When golden and crispy remove from oven and cool. Sprinkle on top of the soup just before serving.
*this add a nice ‘tang’ to the soup that I like -if you are not sure about add a tbsp. now, taste and adjust again to suit your taste