Mealtimes

Creamy Tomato and Pasta Soup

This is perfect for a light supper or a weekend lunch, and it goes down very well with children.

Makes 8-10 large bowls

Ingredients
55g unsalted butter
3 tins of chopped or plum tomatoes (Valfrutta are my favourite)
2 small (or one large) onions
4 large carrots
4 sticks of celery
2 cloves of garlic
600ml chicken or vegetable stock (I recommend Marigold bouillon powder for a quick stock)
1 bay leaf
4 teaspoons tomato purée
1 teaspoon molasses or dark brown sugar
Salt and pepper
150ml double cream (optional, but it does give it a delicious creaminess)
100g tiny pasta (bows or shells work best)

Method

  • If you want to make this in a hurry, you could lightly steam the carrots and celery before adding them to the pan.
  • Slice the onion and chop the garlic.
  • Melt the butter in a heavy based saucepan and add the onion. Cook gently for 15 minutes, if you have time, as this makes the onion really sweet.
  • Dice the carrots and celery into very small ½ cm squares. Add to the pan with the garlic and stir gently for 10-15 minutes.
  • Add the 3 tins of tomatoes, stock, bay leaf, tomato puree and molasses or sugar.
  • Simmer until the carrots are soft.  This will take approximately 30 minutes unless you have pre-cooked the carrots and celery.
  • Cook the pasta according to the instructions on the packet.
  • Remove the bay leaf and purée the soup in a blender.
  • If you are adding cream, it works well to scald it first in a small pan and then add it to the hot soup.
  • Stir in the cooked pasta.