I decided to make soup as starter for a dinner party, mostly because I’d found some lovely soup bowls to match my dinner china on and I hadn’t used them yet and one of the things I like about dinner parties is the chance to set the table nicely.
I knew one of the guests preferred plainer fare so didn’t want to try anything too exotic. Since I was cooking other dishes from Rankin’s New Irish Cookery book I looked for a simple soup recipe. This sounded lovely and I’d never made it before. It was as nice as it sounds. It has only the two main ingredients bacon and tomatoes which blend in flavour wonderfully. A large bowl of this would make a lovely hearty lunch with fresh bread but a small bowl of it worked well as a dinner party starter. This soup had the advantage it could all be made in advance and simply warmed through before serving, quantities scaled up very well.
- 2 tbsps olive oil
- 2 onions, finely chopped
- 250g piece smoked bacon, diced
- 12 large ripe tomatoes roughly chopped or 2 400g cans of tomatoes
- 1 tbsp tomato puree
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 2 tbsps chopped fresh parsley to garish
- 6 tbsps cream to garnish
- Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Add the onions and bacon and cook for about 5 minutes until the onions have softened and the bacon is lightly golden, stirring occasionally.
- Stir in the tomatoes and the tomato puree until all the flavours are combined
- Process in a food processor or blend well with a stick blender
- Recipe says to pass through a fine strainer at this point, I skipped this stage
- Season to taste, serve and garnish with parsley and cream.