It’s the time of year for surplus tomatoes which provides an opportunity to make my favourite soup/sauce.
Tomatoes, onion, garlic, olive oil, tomato paste, basil, oregano, thyme, salt.
If fresh tomatoes aren’t available or are too expensive tinned tomatoes are fine (and sometimes have better flavour than fresh).
Puree tomatoes (if you don’t have a food processor or prefer a chunkier soup/sauce you can mash them instead) and put in a large pot.
Saute onions and garlic in a little oil until soft but not stewed.
Add to tomatoes.
Add tomatoe paste, stir to mix then bring to boil.
Add basil, thyme, oragano and salt and simmer for at least 20 minutes. Stir often to prevent it sticking to the bottom of the pot.
Like many good soups and sauces the flavour improves with time.
I haven’t given quantities because it’s a recipe that doesn’t require exact amounts but relies on the cook’s judgement based on regular tasting.
You can make just enough for a meal or two, but I usually cook it in bulk and bottle and/or freeze it.
If I’m using a big pot – what my mother called a jam pan – I’d use enough fresh tomatoes to get it more than 3/4 full after pureeing, or 14 tins, and at least 12 pottles (140g each) of tomato paste.
I like onions and garlic so use heaps – at least 12 big onions and two heads of garlic and I think at least 6 teaspoons of each herb – you need more if using fresh herbs – for a big pot.
You can serve it as soup or use it as a sauce for pasta and pizza.
If you preserve it, you’re allowed to leave the jars sitting on the bench for a few days so you can take pleasure in the results of your industry.