1930’s tomato soup – cream of…

I mentioned yesterday that I’d been looking back at my old recipe book from the 1930’s, Modern Practical Cookery. Towards the back of the book are monthly suggestions for a menu for six people, using whatever is fresh or appropriate for the season; tomato soup is very seasonal – I always associate it with the autumn and chillier days. I’m sure that even nearly ninety years ago, some fresh produce was still available such as tomatoes, grown under glass. This cream of tomato soup has no cream in it – I think we might use cream to thicken soups, but maybe it wasn’t as available as it is now.

Cream of tomato soup

  • 1½ lbs sliced tomatoes
  • 2 shallots (there is no mention of slicing them, but I would)
  • ½ small clove of garlic (these days our tastes might want more!)
  • a few celery seeds
  • ½ level tsp carbonate of soda (I’m not sure what this is supposed to do, but I would miss it out as I really am sensitive to it)
  • 1 oz flour
  • 1 oz butter
  • salt and pepper
  • 1¼ pints milk
  1. cook the tomatoes gently in a pan with 1 tbsp of water with the celery seeds tied in a muslin, shallots and garlic
  2. when tender remove the celery seeds, shallots and garlic and rub through a sieve (I  guess if you like the flavour to be stronger you could leave the garlic and shallot and rub that through the sieve too!) add the carbonate of soda if you are using it – I think it is meant to neutralise the acidity of the tomatoes
  3. melt the butter in a saucepan, stir in the flour and mix till smooth
  4. add the milk and keep stirring until it thickens
  5. cook for a few minutes then gradually add the tomato pulp
  6. season to taste and serve with croûtons

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