Thursday, September 22, 2011

My sister, neice and I share an interesting cookbook; "Forgotten Skills of Cooking" by Darina Allen. She is called "The Julia Child of Ireland." It is my year to have this cookbook. All that to say I tried her Homemade Tomato Soup recipe and loved it. I am going to reprint the information in its entirity so you can experience this cookbook. You can also go to to learn more about this chef and her school.


Tomato paste is one of the best ways to preserve the flavor of ripe summer tomatoes for winter use in soups, stews, casseroles, and tagines. A food mill is really the only gadget that works for this . So buy one and even if it sets in the back of your cupboard for the rest of the year it will be worth it. Another use for the good mill is ricing potatoes.

Makes 1 1/2 quarts

6 lb very ripe tomatoes

1 medium onion, chopped

good pinch of salt

a few twists of black pepper

1 teaspoon sugar

Cut the tomatoes into quarter and put into a stainless-steel saucepan with the onion, salt, freshly ground pepper and sugar. Cook on a gentle heat for 10-15 minutes, until the tomatoes are soft (no water is needed). Put through the fine blade of the food mill or a nylon sieve. Allow to get cold and refrigerate or freeze. We freeze tomato paste in milk containers, but any containers of a volume that suits your lifestyle would be fine. Ensure that you allow room for expansion when the liquid freezes; otherwise, the container may burst.

Note: I didn't allow my paste to cool as I wanted to make the soup right away.


In this recipe, basil or mint may be added, and cocnut milk can be substitued for Bechamel sauce with delicious results. Note that fresh milk cannot be ddded to the soup, since ythe acidity in the tomatoes will cause it to curdle. For tomato and basil soup or tomato mint soup, siply add 2 tablespoons of your chosen herb at the same time as you add the sugar.

serves 8

1 onion, finely chopped

2 tablespoons butter OR 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

5 cups homemade Tomato Paste (see previous recipe), made from very ripe tomatoes

1 1/4 cups Bechamel Sauce (see pate 116)

1 1/4 cups Chicken Stock (see page 262) or Vegetable Stock (see pate 390)

salt, freshly groupd black pepper and sugar

1/2 cup heavy cream (optional)

Sweat the onion in the butter or oil on a gentle heat until soft but not colored. Add the tomato paste, Bechamel sauce, and stock. Season with salt, freshly ground pepper and sugar. Bring to a boil and simmer for a few minutes.

Puree, taste, and dilute more, if necessary. Bring back to a boil, correct the seasoning, and serve with the addition of a little cream, if necessary.

Enjoy! I made ours with Green Zebra and Yellow tomatoes because that was what we had on hand. It was a pretty light green color and tasted great. I used the coconut milk and canned chicken broth. Also fresh basil from our garden.

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