Tomato and Basil Soup

IMAG1044 This tomato and basil soup recipe originally comes from The Ballymaloe Cookery School Cookbook. I may not have it word for word as I seem to adapt every recipe I cook!

 I think they may use fresh tomatoes for their recipe though and as it is only March, we don’t have any growing in our cold little climate yet. But I will soon be planting my tomato seeds and crossing my fingers and toes for a good summer 🙂 When you say a good summer in Ireland, it does not refer to a good time; we are talking about the weather!!

Today I feel like tasting some sunshine while still keeping warm and cosy 🙂

Ingredients:

1 onion finely chopped

1 tbsp olive oil

1 quantity béchemal sauce

300 ml chicken stock

2 400 g tins tomatoes

1 large handful fresh basil leaves

salt

1 tsp sugar

black pepper

Béchemal Sauce:

25 g butter

25 g flour

200 ml milk

1 sprig fresh thyme

salt black pepper

Melt the butter in a saucepan, once melted add the flour and mix over a low heat until the flour has cooked out.  Add the milk a little at a time whisking constantly. You may feel that you need a little extra milk at this stage if the sauce is too thick – that is ok! Add the thyme, salt and black pepper. Allow to sit on a low heat.

This sauce works great with fish too!

Soup:

Fry the onion until soft in a saucepan. Add the tinned tomatoes and sugar and stir.

At this stage I just add everything into the saucepan and stir, it couldn’t be more simple.  

Leave the pot to simmer for 15 – 20 minutes. If you have a stove, this is ideal, otherwise on a really low hob.

Do not allow to boil as the tomatoes only like a gentle heat… and this is best eaten hot, not boiling to taste the flavour! 

Blend and enjoy with some crusty bread 🙂

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Smooth and Creamy Butternut squash Soup

IMAG0995

Smooth and Creamy Butternut squash soup. Squash are still around and in season here and I just love the creamy texture without the calories contained in cream! Try it with my homemade Brown Soda Bread. I spread walnut butter on mine usually, and I feel it complements the soup 🙂

Ingredients:

1 Butternut Squash

1 onion finely chopped

1 garlic clove finely chopped

1 sprig thyme

Salt

Pepper

600ml homemade chicken stock (just get the carcass of your roast chicken with and onion, carrot, celery stick and some herbs and simmer for as long as you have time!) Alternatively use a chicken stock cube

Fry the onion and thyme in the saucepan in a little olive oil until softened. Add the garlic and chopped squash. You can season it as this stage, cover and cook on a low heat for 1o minutes.

Add the stock and cover again. Simmer until the squash has softened.

Blend and taste, adjust your seasoning at this stage if you have to.

Enjoy 🙂