My hubby went to his aunty's place and came back with a big bag of tomatoes freshly plucked from her greenhouse. That's the problem with planting tomatoes, they all get harvested at the same time, and you end up with loads and loads of tomatoes, which is why she had to give some away. I felt the tomatoes one by one, and came to the conclusion that they are far too soft to be used for making filled tomatoes with shrimps. The only way I can get rid of the soft tomatoes is by making tomato soup.
Yeah! I haven't had fresh tomato soup for a long time. Here is a very good belgian recipe for cream of tomato soup which I adapted from my belgian cooking "bible". What is so delicious about this soup? Well, the secret lies in.....the few spoonfuls of cognac or brandy that is added to the soup, it gives the soup a very special aromatic taste. :)
Adapted from "Everybody Eats Well in Belgium" by Ruth Van Waerebeek
Cream of Tomato Soup / Tomaten Roomsoep / Creme de Tomates
INGREDIENTS (for 6 servings)
5 tbsp unsalted butter
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 carrot, peeled and finely chopped
900g ripe tomatoes, peeled, seeded and coarsely chopped
(Or 1 can whole tomatoes with juices, coarsely chopped)
1.5 tsp sugar
pinch of cayenne pepper
salt to taste
4 tbsp plain flour
3.5 to 4 cups beef or chicken broth (4 cups broth = 1 L)
3/4 cup heavy or whipped cream
2 to 4 tbsp cognac or brandy
freshly ground black pepper to taste
1. Melt 2 tbsp butter in a large pan, over medium heat. Add the onion and carrot and cook, stirring continuously with a wooden spoon, until softened, but not browned, about 8 to 10 min.
2. Add the tomatoes, sugar, cayenne and a little salt. Cook gently over low heat for 20 min, stirring occasionally. Let the tomato mixture cool slightly, then puree in a blender/food processor. Set aside.
3. Melt the remaining 3 tbsp butter in the pan over low heat. Sprinkle the flour over the melted butter and stir until smooth. Gradually add the broth while stirring constantly with a whisk. Continue to cook until you have a thick white sauce the consistency of heavy cream. Still whisking, let it boil once or twice to get rid of any pasty flour taste.
4. Remove the soup from the heat and whisk in the tomato mixture. Let rest until just before serving. (The soup may be prepared a day ahead up to this point. Cool to room temperature and refrigerate covered.)
5. Gently reheat the tomato soup but be careful not to let it come to a boil. Stir in the heavy cream and cognac/brandy. Season to taste with salt and pepper. The soup can be reheated later but do not let it come to a boil or the cream will curdle.
6. Just before serving, garnish it with a sprig of fresh parsley.