As today is a public holiday, we had friends over for lunch. We were lucky and had a beautiful warm day. The younger members of the gathering were sitting around in tee-shirts and shorts. I am always cold but even I had on a tee-shirt with long trousers.
The menu for this occasion was fresh tomato soup and South African corn bread for starters and corned beef, salad and meilies on the cob for the main meal.
I made the soup from scratch. My sister came around yesterday, arriving just as I finished making the soup, and asked why I did not used whole canned tomatoes instead of fresh ones. I replied that it does not taste the same which it doesn’t. The soup came out pretty well with a lovely tang but not too sharp. This is how I made it:
Fresh tomato soup
2 kilograms of fresh tomatoes;
2 level tablespoons cornflour;
1 litre of milk;
1 bay leaf;
1 small onion chopped;
1 1/2 tablespoons tomato paste;
125 ml cream; and
salt and pepper to taste.
Place the tomatoes into a large bowl and cover in boiling water. Once the water has cooled down, pour off the water and peel the skins off the tomatoes. Cut the peeled tomatoes into quarters and place in a large pot. Add the milk, bay leaf, clove, peppercorns, salt and pepper and chopped onion and bring gently to the simmering point on the stove hob.
Do not bring to the simmering point to quickly or the mixture will curdle. Allow to simmer for 75 minutes, stirring intermittently. Once the tomatoes are really soft, remove the pot from the heat and allow the mixture to cool. Use a blender to blend the mixture so that a lovely thick soup remains. Add 125 ml of cream. Serve hot.
Robbie and Michael Cheadle are the co-authors of the Sir Chocolate Book series