Hello kind reader, BBC1 here! This soup has it’s origins and roots firmly in my past. When I was a lad my mum used to make the most wonderful and tasty beef and tomato gravy for steak, mash and peas. A few years back I kinda of replicated this for bangers and mash and it went down so well with our godchildren it went into our regular rotation of comfort foods.
Well, fetching this up to date, the other day I got a hankering for homemade tomato soup. However, the one I usually make demands a lot of fluffing about, and is best with high season fresh tomatoes. So I starts to think about how I could make an easy-ish tomato soup with tinned tomatoes and store cupboard ingredients. As I perused BBC2’s immaculate and somewhat OCD cupboards, for they are his and everything must be rotated and lined up precisely, I spotted the marrowfat peas and I had a 💡lightbulb moment💡! So without further ado…or saying something else that will get me into trouble…I give you Easy Peasy Tomato Soup…
2 Tbs of olive oil
1 medium onion diced
1 stick of celery diced – if old celery de-string
2 cloves of garlic minced/grated
1 medium carrot diced
1 medium potato diced
1 Tbs of tomato purée
2x400gm tins of chopped tomatoes
1/4 tsp dried thyme
Approx 2 pints beef stock, you may want to add more at the end depending on the consistency you would prefer – I used stock cubes and boiling water (you only have to use vegetable stock to make this vegetarian/vegan)
2x400gm tins of marrowfat peas
In a deep, heavy bottomed, stock pot heat the olive oil on a medium heat. Add diced onions, celery, carrots and potatoes and sweat until the onions are translucent. Add garlic and continue to fry for approx two minutes. Then add the tomato purée and cook this out for another two minutes. Now add the tinned tomatoes, and thyme, and bring to a boil.
Whilst it is coming to a boil purée the peas in a food processor – you could fluff about soaking and cooking your own peas if so inclined, but if you get a decent brand it is just the same really and a lot easier! Also, if you don’t like the skins pass the puréed mixture through a sieve (I don’t bother).
Once your tomato and vegetable mixture has come to the boil, add your peas and beef stock to the pot and bring back to a rolling boil. Once boiling, lower the heat and leave to simmer gently for twenty to thirty minutes. This will depend on the size of your diced vegetables – do stir in some love occasionally to ensure it doesn’t stick.
When the potato and carrots are soft and cooked, either use an immersion blender to purée the soup or put into a food processor in batches (remember if using a food processor to do this, do not overfill and, for safety cover the lid with a tea towel in case it splutters). Then leave to simmer for a further ten minutes or so to let the flavours mingle, and stir in some more love😍.
Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve with a swirl of double cream and some lovely bread of your choice.
I just can’t resist it, and here I go with my big mouth again, but whilst we’re talking about OCD cupboards…I found out about this years ago when caught putting a tin of beans at the front of a line and getting a thirty minute lecture on rotation…my point was that the tins never stay put long enough for this to matter, needless to say I lost that argument.
Anyway a wonderful and mischievous Irish friend of ours, who we’ve known for over twenty five years, has come to stay regularly with her family. I will never forget her first visit to Cornwall, because she knows him so well, and whilst BBC2 was out shopping she spent twenty minutes carefully and subtlety re-arranging his cupboards, as an ‘experiment’.
When he got back and began to the put the shopping away the first look of puzzlement on his face was a picture, the second look of consternation was worrying, the third look of horror was adorably cute and funny! This has become a standing joke and whenever Nors gets the chance she will move something in his cupboards…poor old BBC2, and back to the doghouse for me!