So you know how you tend to be a bit crazy about something for a while? Usually it’s a lifelong addiction to chocolate, ain’t it ladies? Or you have some sort of lolly you can’t live without. Or a specific chilli sauce. My current such pleasure is somewhat ridiculous, but hey, we all are to some extent. Truffle oil. I could drink that stuff from a shot glass. I want it on everything. Especially on tomato soup. That beautiful savoury garlicky umami character of the oil compliments the sweet creamy tanginess of the soup perfectly. This is rich stuff. This is gourmet comfort food. It is anything and everything I could ever want from a soupe de tomate.
It is also perfect for cold, grey Swiss days. Yes, the weather here in Bern is shite, but you know what? It’s so good to be back. I’ve missed you beautiful people. And the cheese. And the chocolate. I could go on but I know you’re hungry. Now go make this soup and think of me.
The Best Tomato Soup (with Truffle Oil)
Makes 1 Litre, serving 4 as an entrée, or two greedy people as a main.
1 tsp butter
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 celery stalk, finely chopped
1 carrot, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely sliced
2 pinches cinnamon
2 pinches ground cumin
2 pinches chilli
4 parsley stalks, knotted together, plus extra, to serve
2 cans chopped tomatoes
2 tsp chicken stock granules
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp honey
4 Tbsp crème fraîche, plus extra for serving
2 tsp truffle oil, plus more for drizzling
cracked black pepper
melt the butter with the oil in a saucepan and add the onion, celery, carrot and garlic, and sweat on low heat until soft. Add the spices, parsley, chopped tomatoes, water and stock powder. Let it simmer for about half an hour. Remove from heat, remove the parsley, and give it a whizz with a hand held blender, until it’s all smooth and creamy. Now add the soy, honey, crème fraîche and truffle oil, and give it another whirl. If you’re being all fancy you can pass it through a fine sieve, but that would be a waste of healthy fibre, would it not. Reheat if necessary, add some more seasoning if need be, then pour into bowls, swirl in some of the extra crème fraîche, drizzle over some more of that delicious oil and add a sprinkling of parsley. I love parsley with tomato soup. It’s old fashioned, but good. Crack some pepper over the whole beautiful mess and treat yourself to a bowlful.