You need 1-1.25kg/2lb 4oz-2lb 12oz ripe tomatoes. Firstly, prepare your vegetables. Nordstrom, meanwhile, simply simmers them in stock. Around the time I graduated from tomato sauce in jars, I remember being surprised and then delighted by a River Cafe recipe which called for both vinegar and sugar. Photograph: Felicity Cloake, Four Seasons recipe tomato soup. Margaret Costa strikes off on a different path altogether, flavouring her soup with sherry and orange peel which gives it a pleasantly Spanish air – especially as she suggests serving it chilled. Tomato soup is a classic, whatever the weather. Photograph: Felicity Cloake, Nordstrom recipe tomato soup. Chicken stock is a popular choice, used by Nordstrom and Lindsey, while Jamie suggests chicken or vegetable, Jane chicken or light beef, and Margaret Costa will only commit as far as "good stock". Aranca are good on-the-vine cocktail tomatoes with a superb flavour and aroma, but if you prefer the larger beefsteak variety, go for Jack Hawkins. The best British tomatoes for making soup are Elegance, a deep-red classic tomato (often sold on the vine) with a thin skin and sweet, juicy flesh. To make the tastiest tomato soup you’ll ever experience wait until the tomatoes are at their most ripe and juicy, around September. So that's us told.). A pinch of sugar while they're roasting should, along with some carrots, make up for any deficiencies occasioned by the bad weather, and, taking a tip from Delia, I'm going to use balsamic vinegar, for its complementary sweet and sour flavours. Warming yet light, and perfect for those anaemic seasonal ingredients which won't quite cut it in a salad, they're the answer to all your problems. With barbecues and picnics off the menu for the moment, and stews, bakes and stodgy puddings singing their siren call again, it's not easy to feel inspired about summer cooking. Repeat with the soup that’s left in the pan. A note on the amount of stock: perhaps it's the weather, but I find many of these soups too thin and watery. Shoot the tomatoes in off the chopping board, sprinkle in a good pinch of sugar and grind in a little black pepper. Leave to cool slightly. Except, perhaps, how to stop the rain killing your tomato plants. Blitz until the soup’s smooth (stop the machine and lift the lid to check after about 30 seconds), then pour the puréed soup into a large bowl. New! It's portable, filling, and equally good hot or cold - is tomato soup the ideal dish for an unpredictable British summer? But it's important to tread carefully: I think you need double, rather than Jane Grigson's single cream, which dilutes the flavour without contributing much in the way of body, but Nordstrom add so much their soup becomes somewhat sickly. Peel 1 medium onion and 1 small carrot and chop them into small pieces. The other principal ingredient of any soup, of course, is liquid: tomatoes have quite a high water content, but they still need something extra. Both recipes to revisit during the winter months, but I'm hopeful that I can achieve the same result with fresh fruit. Lindsey bakes her tomatoes for her roast tomato soup with basil, for an "intense tomato flavour" while Margaret Costa uses fresh tomatoes, tomato purée and tomato juice in the summer tomato soup in her Four Seasons Cookery Book. Photograph: Felicity Cloake, Jamie Oliver recipe tomato soup. Fresh basil is a natural match for tomatoes, however, as are onions and garlic, and the carrots are a clever way to add the sweetness the fruit itself might lack. 4. Ladle the soup into your blender until it’s about three-quarters full, fit the lid on tightly and turn the machine on full. Spoon 2 tbsp olive oil into a large heavy-based pan and heat it over a low heat. Remove the stems if there are any. Turn up the heat as high as it will go and wait until everything is bubbling, then turn the heat down to low again and put the lid back on the pan. Heat the remaining oil in a large, heavy-based pan over a medium heat and add the onion, carrot and garlic. The usual suspects abound here: Larousse likes celery, Jamie and Bittman go for onion, garlic and carrot with the former also chucking in some basil stalks for good measure, and Jane Grigson uses carrot and onion, seasoned with a bouquet garni. Or sieve and serve chilled with some cream swirled in. Although we're well into peak season for commercially grown, greenhouse tomatoes, most home gardeners won't be enjoying a glut for another couple of months yet. Use a blender to purée the soup, then stir in the vinegar and creme fraiche, and season to taste. ("In case you're not familiar with this soup," the recipe starts kindly, "it's rather famous, ranked regularly on lists of Best Tomato Soup Ever, enjoying something of a cult following for those who love tomato soup." Its lightness seems more appropriate for the summery, Mediterranean flavours of the soup, and it strikes me that tangy creme fraiche would work even better with the sweet and sour nature of the fruit. First rinse the tomatoes really well and keep aside. Jamie whisks in double cream mixed with egg yolks just before serving, which gives his soup a beautifully silky texture, but it's Larousse's fromage frais which really inspires me. Tomatoes come in many forms, and as any cook knows, a good tinned tomato is worth a hundred underripe fresh ones – but can they ever compete with ripe fruit in season? As we've been so soggily reminded over recent weeks, British summertime is as much a mindset as a season. Mark's recipe seems bland and thin until I defy him by sticking it in a blender – thickening it up, and giving it a far more well-rounded flavour. Stir to mix everything together, put the lid on the pan and let the tomatoes stew over a low heat for 10 minutes until they shrink down in the pan and their juices flow nicely. Ladle into bowls and serve. Recipe from Good Food magazine, September 2002. Good Food DealReceive a free Graze box delivered straight to your door. To find out, I choose two recipes using tinned tomatoes: New York Times writer Mark Bittman's wintertime tomato soup, which seems ideal fare for London in June, and one from the American department store chain Nordstrom which garners rave reviews online. Now cut each tomato into quarters and slice off any hard cores (they don't soften during cooking and you'd get hard bits in the soup at the end). Both Jane Grigson and Jamie's versions are disappointingly delicate – this is a soup that needs oomph, which, if one discounts the tinned variety, can only come from roasted fruit. Cook, stirring regularly, for about 7 minutes until softened. 1. If the colour’s not a deep enough red for you, plop in another teaspoon of tomato purée and stir until it dissolves. Slowly pour in the 1.2 litres/ 2 pints of hot stock (made with boiling water and 4 rounded tsp bouillon powder or 2 stock cubes), stirring at the same time to mix it with the vegetables. Photograph: Felicity Cloake, s we've been so soggily reminded over recent weeks, British summertime is as much a mindset as a season. Remove the pan from the heat, take the lid off and stand back for a few seconds or so while the steam escapes, then fish out the pieces of bay leaf and throw them away. Mark Bittman is even vaguer, with his "stock or water", and Larousse Gastronomique opts for vegetable, which I find too aromatic, giving the soup a distinct flavour of leek tops and parsley stalks. When the butter is melted, add the onions and cook over medium … I think even a tomato soup should have presence on the spoon, which is why I'm going with just over half the amount of stock Jamie suggests. It is perhaps the ultimate British summer dish. But it's actually a useful ingredient, and the concentrated flavour is key for a puréed soup like this." Throw the vines and green bits away and wash the tomatoes. Rukmini is an excellent host and she pampers us with a lavish spread of delicious dishes whenever we went to our native village Seeplaputhur. Blindfolded, however, I'm not sure I would have positively identified this as a tomato soup – the delicate flavour of the fruit is all but eclipsed by these flamboyances.