Gail Milne’s Food on Friday: Homemade tomato soup with a pinch of ‘digital’

Tomatoes could slow down or eradicate cancer cells
Tomatoes could slow down or eradicate cancer cells

Here’s a little treat for the weekend...

It all started in Fort William at the Imperial Hotel situated on the esplanade of the Highland town when a starter arrived and I declared it the best tomato soup I’d ever tasted.

With bits of fresh tomato evident and a delicious hint of beef tingling the tongue, it was a splendid homemade offering.

So far removed from the rather bland tinned variety, it got us all talking over how tomato soup was created. No-one was sure. What an admission,

So if you fancy rustling up a really taste-tastic, quick pot of tomato soup, you’ll be surprised at how easy it is to make. And you’ll never give a manufactured tin of tomato soup another look again, except perhaps to glance at it upon the supermarket shelf with a shaking head.

Our voyage of discovery started in a very modern way - digitally, with a search on Youtube. Jamie Oliver would be horrified! Seconds later, child number two had sourced an entertaining seven-minute clip from a vast array of wannabe living-room chefs.

The second contributing factor to our quest was a glut of homegrown tomatoes which were beginning to appear past their best. Rather than loose them on the vine, hundreds were picked and bundled into the kitchen where there was much wonder over what to do with them.

From there it was easy, and here’s how you do it.

All you need is about a dozen tomatoes (enough to serve two) preferably about the same size and texture. Well-ripened tomatoes are definitely best as they cook up and reduce down quicker.

From start to finish, it takes about 20 minutes to prepare and cook.

Place the tomatoes in a pot and cover with water, but do no more than cover.

Bring to the boil and allow to simmer for 20 minutes or so. If you happen to have stock left over from a meat dish previously cooked, then the time to add that in is later.

When the tomatoes are soft and breaking up, pierce them with a knife to allow the juices to escape. Then drain the whole contents of the pot into a sieve, squeezing the last of the flesh and juice out into a bowl.

Discard the skins if you wish, but there’s no reason not to pop them into a blender and add them to the soup too, to enjoy a coarser texture.

At this point, add in your stock, heat a little bit more and serve.

Absolutely delicious and unforgettable. You’ll be hooked.

GAIL MILNE