January is Soup Month, and when the cold weather is in full force, what better way to sit down and warm up than with a tasty bowl of steaming goodness.
There is evidence that soup dates all the way back to about 20,000 B.C. Animal skins were used as the first bowls.
The word soup itself derives from the French word soupe which means broth.
World wide it is Chicken broth that holds the number one spot and is the biggest selling soup in the USA.
The number one in the UK is the classic Heinz, Cream of Tomato.
Since its launch in 1910 it has produced enough cans to travel to the moon and back!
Even better is a steaming hot bowl of home made soup, served with some chunky fresh bread on a cold winters day.
Here is a simple recipe for a bowl of delicious cream of tomato.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 onions, coarsely chopped
- 6 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 2 bay leaves
- 3 sprigs thyme or 1 tablespoon dried thyme
- 1 tablespoon dried basil
- 2 (400g) tins whole plum tomatoes
- salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 300ml stock (chicken or vegetable)
- 200ml cream
- grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
- Heat olive oil in a pan and cook the onions over medium heat until translucent. When the onions are cooked, add the garlic, herbs and bay leaves to the oil and fry for 2 minutes over a low heat.
- Add the chopped tomatoes. Add the sugar, salt and pepper. Pour in the stock and increase the temperature to bring to the boil.
- Reduce heat and simmer for about 10 minutes.
- Remove from heat and let cool . Remove the thyme and bay leaves and puree the soup with a blender.
- put the soup on the heat again, add the cream and heat. Simmer for a few minutes until hot, season with salt, pepper and sugar and sprinkle with Parmesan before serving with a fresh bread.