Tomato soup for Saturday lunch

Two bags of Spanish tomatoes from K & N, the grocers on Oxton Road. 99p each, there is about a kilo in each bag. Take a large pan and sweat down a couple of finely chopped onions in olive oil. Add some garlic and about half a finely sliced chilli. Chop an aubergine into 1 inch cubes and add these to the pan, turning up the heat. Cook for a few minutes then add a teaspoon of freshly ground cumin and half a teaspoon of smoked paprika. Whilst that continues to cook chop each of the tomatoes in half and then add all these to the pan. Season with some salt & pepper then put on a lid and leave to cook down for an hour or so. The tomatoes will slowly give off their juices and turn to a mush. Give it a stir every so often with a wooden spoon squashing the tomatoes as you go. There are then a couple of options depending on how thick you like your soup. If you want a thin soup strain it through a fine sieve or chinoise, using the back of the wooden spoon to squeeze out every last drop of juice. I have a very old French mouli food mill that I picked up for a couple of Euros last year in Schull. This is very efficient but the holes are too big and some of the seeds are able to get through – but it makes for a thicker more sustaining soup and there is something very satisfying about turning the wooden handle which still has some traces of the original red paint and watching the mess of tomatoes subside into the bowl below. However you do it pour the soup back into the pan and check for seasoning. Serve with chunks of good bread. The gubbins in the bottom of the sieve or mouli can go into the compost bin.

Cooked whilst listening to the new Rumer CD – not very rock’n’roll but suited the mood on a grey morning.

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