My "School Lunches" Red Soup
You can use fresh tomatoes in place of the below mentioned tinned/pureed and do it yourself, (as I often do do at home), but as I am compiling the recipe I used in school, I am sticking to the tomatoes I used for this recipe- peeling 20 cans worth of tinned tomatoes was a bit of a big ask in the time we had not to mention the puree, anyways. I always bought the good quality organic tinned tomatoes that are only in tomato juice with no added sugar or salt. The problem is when you buy with additives you never realise how much sugar and salt has already been added.
3x 400g "Mr Organic Whole Peeled Plum tomatoes"
200g "Mr Organic Tomato puree"
300g Carrots (which is about 6 carrots or so)
4 sticks Celery
1 large Onion
6-7 cloves Garlic
2 Red peppers
1 (Big) Potato
2 Stock pots (knorr vegetable stock pots)
Salt to taste ( about 1/3 tblspn)
80g Demerara sugar ( about 5 heaped tblspns)
1/2 tspn Paprika powder
1/3 tspn Coriander ( seed) powder
1/2 tspn Celery salt
1/6 tspn Black pepper
3 tblspns cooking oil/melted butter/melted vegan butter
chilli powder (optional about 1/8 tspn)
2-3 tblspn Optional Butter/vegan butter or a drizzle of cream if you wish
-Peel, wash, top and tail and chop carrots in big chunks.
-Wash, top and tail and chop celery sticks and radishes into chunks.
(For my younger/inexperienced audience "top and tail" means to chop off the top "greeny" head and bottom "rooty" base on the veg).
-Peel, wash, and chop potato in big chunks.
-Wash and de-seed the peppers, then cut it into chunks. (A fun way to do this is to press down the top with your two thumbs so it "pops" inwards and then tear it open, remove the seeded stalk and tear up the rest of the pepper).
-Peel the garlic cloves, wash and quarter them.
-Peel the onion, wash and roughly chop it in to chunks
-Next on a medium-high heat, place a high sided, heavy bottom, medium-large sized pot; add the onions, garlic and drizzle in the cooking oil.
-While stirring occasionally, with a long handled wooden spoon, cook the onions until transparent.
-Next add the spices and salt.
-After cooking the spices for 2 minutes, add the prepared veg (NOT TOMATOES).
-Cook the veg for about 2-3 minutes before adding 3 cups of water and the vegetable stock pots.
(The water line should be such that it covers all the veg- bare in mind you will have some e.g. celery, floating on the top which is ok, if not add more water)
- Leave to cook on a medium flame until the veg are soft enough to pry with a fork.
(Takes about 10-15 minutes depending on your equipment).
-Once cooked, remove from heat and set aside for it to cool enough to blend.
(About 30- 45 minutes depending on your blender manufacturer's recommendations on the temperature of "blend-able contents").
-Once ready to blend, add the plum peeled tomatoes and tomato puree to the veg mix as you blend batch by batch (as per your blender manufacturer's recommendations on maximum quantities).
-Pour your blended soup into a large high sided, heavy bottom pot ready for re-heating for serving.
-Once all of the soup is blended to a nice smooth consistency and you are ready to re-heat for service, Place the soup pot on a medium heat and add in the Demerara sugar and optional butter/vegan butter; or if opting for cream hold back the cream till ready for service.
-Put in about 4 tblspn of sugar first and taste before adding the 5th, as the sugar is there to cut the sharpness of the tomatoes and sometimes some tomatoes are less sharp than others and therefore may not need the full amount.
-REMEMBER GOLDEN RULE: you can always still add more if needed, but can't take away if too much!
-The optional butter/cream is also there for this purpose.
-If you do find you have added too much, adding a squeeze of lime or an extra sprinkle of celery salt can help. You are trying to achieve a balanced flavour, one that is not sharp, but not overly sweet either.
-If you feel that the soup has thickened too much to your liking, add a bit of water till you are happy with the consistency.
-Once the soup has come to a boil, switch off.
-(Add any cream in now if you wanted to add cream)
-Serve hot/warm either on its own, or with the children's favourite "lunches bread" with butter/vegan butter.
The soup can be frozen for later use, but freeze prior to re-heating and use within a year of freezing.
JUST AN FYI:
-Those who are here to re-create the "exact" lunches soup for their children, I did not add any cream, I only added vegan butter now and then, depending on the sharpness of the tomatoes. I never used any chilli powder in school meals, only paprika and black pepper, but sparingly.
I'm keeping fingers crossed for you all, Hoping it gets passed by them!
MY RECIPE BOX
My heritage spans from the flavours of Bihar to the cuisine of the Arabias, the colourful food of Bengal to the delicacies of Pakistan.
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