In the winter months I make a lot of this soup. It tastes great and if you make enough of it, it will feed the family for four or five suppers. Here are the ingredients:
Tomatoes, quantity dependent on how many you’ve got or how many you want. The best ones to use are the Italian tomatoes because they have the most flavour. They also taste best if they are ‘going over’ a bit because then the sweetness is released.
1 large onion
1 red pepper
1 green pepper (optional)
flat dessertspoonful of salt (don’t overdo it.)
1 teaspoon of sugar
1 small tin of tomato paste (optional). I put one of these in if the boiled mixture looks a bit insipid. I like the soup to look really red.
1 squirt of tomatoe ketchup
a grind of pepper
1 teaspoon crushed chillis (optional). Do this if you want an extra kick in the soup.
Half pound of pork meatballs (optional)
Handful of rice, long grain
NB if you add the meatballs, bear in mind that the soup won’t keep for as long. I keep the soup in the fridge between eatings. Always boil the soup every day, whether you eat any or not. This will kill any bacteria and keep the soup safe to eat.
Put the tomatoes into a pan, large enough that the tomatoes come up to the middle of it. Add cold water to cover. Add other chopped ingredients and boil gently for half an hour.
Smells delicious at this stage.
When the boiling is done, leave to cool with a lid on.
When cool enough, put the mixture through a blender to purify, leaving a few bits of vegetable to chew on in the soup.
Return the soup to a large pan, add a knob of butter and if desired, some meatballs. Pork taste best.
Ten minutes before serving for the first time, add a handful of long-grain rice. This will thicken the soup and soak up some of the flavours. Each time you reheat the soup, the rice will become thicker. You may need to add more liquid (water) as the days go by.