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Dutch Vine Tomatoes – A Lovely Gift

Chip of TomatoesOne of our customers for our eggs very kindly gave my wife a gift of two chips of these magnificent Dutch vine tomatoes last week. They are so sweet and delicious and are so tasty that  eating them just on their own is a delight. As you can imagine, two chips of tomatoes would take some time to eat and it would be a pity to see them go off (though there are always the chickens and ducks to deal with that problem). So what do you do when you have too many tomatoes? You make soup, of course, and that’s just what I did.

Tomato soup is one of the quickest and easiest soups to make and I used a simple recipe from Delia Smith‘s book, Delia Smith’s Complete Cookery Course, published by BBC Books. The well-thumbed and food-stained edition I have dates back to about 2001, while the book has been around and continuously revised since the 1970s or so. It is a great book and, unlike many of the modern “celebrity” chefs, Delia’s book is based in excellence, practicality and common sense while still giving some truly wonderful and very reliable recipes. Whenever I need a good recipe, I always turn to Delia first.

Here’s Delia’s simple recipe for Tomato Soup With Basil to serve four people. Preparation time was no more than 15 minutes, at most.

  • 700g ripe tomatoes, quartered with skins left on
  • 1 medium onion, chopped small
  • 1 medium potato, chopped small
  • 1.5 tablespoons good quality olive oil
  • 275 ml stock
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh basil (or 1 teaspoon dried basil)
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper

Tomaotes 02Start by heating the olive oil and gently frying the onion and potato slowly for about 15 minutes, without browning. Then add the tomatoes and cook for a few minutes. Pour in the stock, season with salt and pepper and add the garlic. If you are using dried basil, add it with the tomatoes; if using fresh basil, add it at the end. Cover and simmer for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally, and – voila! – you have lovely tomato soup. Delia says to  run the soup through a sieve to extract the skins and pips, but I blended it, which got rid of them and made it slightly thick but beautiful to taste. A little extra water or stock can be added to thin the soup according to taste. If using fresh basil, it is added now. The soup can be re-heated and served. I had mine with white soda bread, which my wife also got as a gift. It was delicious.

This recipe is so easy that you can simply increase the quantities proportionately to make more servings, freeze it or serve it cold.

With tomatoes now in season and Irish home grown ones also available, what great ideas or recipes do you have for this wonderful fruit? If you’d like to share your ideas, please leave a comment and let me know.

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