Is Autumn here already?! Tomato Soup and an Advent Calendar

I am typing this sitting indoors (with Daisy squashed up next to me trying to convince me to give her another biscuit – no chance of that Miss Daisy!) on yet another cold, grey August evening.  We had some really warm and sunny – even hot – weather in June and early July but now summer seems to have fled away – and is fast running out of time to make a reappearance.  The trees in our wood are already beginning to show the earliest signs of autumnal colour, whilst hips, haws and blackberries are all ripe and ready in the hedgerows.  And, just like last year, I have a glut of tomatoes in my greenhouse.

I know Rosie is planning on including some seasonal autumn recipes in the September magazine, but I thought I’d share this really quick and easy way to whiz up a simple tomato soup that’s good served chilled (if the sun ever shines again!) as well as warm with crusty bread…



About 2 kg (just under 2 1/2 lbs) ripe tomatoes.  Any kind will do

1 tablespoon  oil (choose an oil that doesn’t have a strong flavour)

150 ml double (heavy) cream

Pesto, chopped basil, parsley or similar garnish to swirl and serve.


Chop the tomatoes roughly and then blitz in a blender until they turn to liquid, adding 1 pinch of salt for every 1/2 lb (400 g) tomatoes.  Meanwhile heat the oil in a large frying pan until it’s really (almost smoking) hot.  Pour in the tomatoes – do be careful – it will spit and bubble – you may wish to briefly cover with a lid or splash guard until the spitting has stopped.

Remove the lid if you covered and turn the heat down slightly so the soup is still boiling rapidly, but not as fiercely as before – you don’t want it to burn.  At this stage you’re removing as much water as possible.  Carry on until you see the mixture thickening.

Return the soup to the blender (you don’t need to clean it between uses) and blitz again.  Add the cream to the mixture and continue until it’s blended thoroughly.

Your soup should be a nice orange colour and is now ready to serve.  I’ve enjoyed this soup several times already over the last couple of weeks and it is absolutely delicious – sustaining me through the process of measuring three times before cutting and sewing pockets on my Advent Calendar project.

I have loved stitching the designs on all the pockets, but I’m not very good at measuring accurately (remember the workroom blinds debacle back in June haha!),  I have taken extra-super-special care when marking their positions and then stitching the pockets to the background felt and my care does seem to have paid off as I’m very pleased with the result.  I’ll take some proper pictures of the finished project this week, and the pattern will be in the September Bustle & Sew Magazine.  There’s more hand embroidery in the September issue too …..

Some lovely jewel-toned feathers that are still very much a work in progress.  I’m stitching a row of five that I plan to mount on a canvas block, but I think just one would make a lovely accent on a favourite jacket or jumper – another project to add to my ever-growing list!



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