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Thursday, 19 August 2010

Italian Tomato Soup

For the second recipe of my "Tuscan Culinary Deeds" series, I present you with a soup that is essentially summer in a bowl. In Italy, tomatoes are plentiful, ruby-red, juicy and not last but not least dirt cheap in the Summer; therefore, making this soup as a first course offers a nice alternative from the usual pasta al pomodoro (with tomato sauce). Once again the recipe is my dad's, who learnt it from my nonna (his mum).

INGREDIENTS (serves 4 people)
  • 6 large, ripe tomatoes (I used the Costoluto Fiorentino variety, but the S. Marzano is also great. If you use the latter, you'll need around 12)
  • 160 gr of pasta suitable for soup (e.g. the "Tempestine" viariety from De Cecco, which is also available in the UK)
  • 1 large potato
  • One sweet, red onion
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt
  • Grated Parmesan to serve
Take your onion and chop it finely, then put it in a deep pan with a glug of olive oil and let is soften at very low heat, and acquire a translucent, golden colour.
 Wash the tomatoes well, then boil them in hot water (use enough to cover them) for about 5-6 minutes, or until soft but still retaining their shape.

 When the tomatoes are cooked, pass them through a mouli-l├ęgumes directly into the pan with the onions. Discard the tomatoes' skin. If you don't own such tool you can peel the tomates by hand (this operations should be quite simple now that they are cooked) and whizz the flesh and juices in a normal food blender, then add it to the pan. Season with salt.
Add 5-6 ladelfuls of the tomatoes' cooking liquid to the blended tomatoes, or enough to make up the quantities of a soup for 4 people. Let it simmer at very low heat. In the meantime, peel and dice your potato and add it to the soup. When the potato is nearly cooked, add the pasta to the soup and cook it according to the packet instructions. Add more hot water if needed, however bear in mind that the soup should have a thick, creamy consistency.

As soon as the pasta is cooked, adjust the seasoning if necessary and serve it immediately, with a generous sprinkle of grated parmesan.

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