For garlic lovers

June 19, 2010

It’s soup season.

My favourite recipe is for the all purpose Tomato Soup which also serves well as a sauce for pasta and pizza.

It’s easy to make but requries lots of garlic and  I’ve never been keen on the fiddly business of getting the clove out of its papery skin.

However, I’ve no excuses now that I’ve acquired a silicone garlic peeler.

I’m wary about wonder gadgets but this one really is as good as its promise.

You simply put the clove in the tube, roll it on the bench and voila  the skin comes off – no fiddling, no smelly hands, just naked garlic, ready to be sautéed.

Tomato soup/sauce

May 2, 2009

 It’s the time of year for surplus tomatoes which provides an opportunity to make my favourite soup/sauce.

You need:

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.


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