Cold wind howling round the cottage, rain spattering the windows and a feeling of February nothingness hangs in the air. I always feel this is the worst month of the year. The weather does her worst here, the skies are dark and spring and warmth seems like a million miles away. Time for comfort food and soup is the order of the day.
Soup has always been my go-to comfort food. My Mum made soup all the time. Like most Scottish households there was a pot of soup on the go every day.
Tomato and Mascarpone Soup
This version of tomato soup has all the creamy goodness I remember as a child. The best thing though is that it is a homemade soup so there are no artificial colourings or additives of any kind. You just can’t beat good old fashioned hug-in-a-mug comfort food that will make you feel better no matter what the weather and this soup ticks all the boxes..
A taste of Italy
The richness in this soup comes from the Mascarpone cheese. Mascarpone is a thick, soft cheese that originally comes from the Lombardy region of Italy. It is made using cow’s milk and curdling this with citric acid. The resulting full fat cheese does not have much taste in itself but is a great vehicle for other flavours. Mascarpone is a cooking essential in Italy used in such favourites as Tiramisu. This delightful cheese isn’t just used for desserts though, it is used in many savoury recipes too. Tomato and Mascarpone soup is a perfect example of this cheese’s versatility.
Tomato and Mascarpone soup
- 1 onion finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 carrot peeled and chopped
- 1 stick celery chopped
- 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
- 2 tbsp tomato puree
- 500ml vegetable stock
- 1 tsp fresh rosemary chopped plus extra for serving
- 2 tbsp Mascarpone cheese plus extra for serving
- Saute the onions in a deep pan for 5 minutes then add the garlic for 1 minute
- Add the carrot and celery and cook for a further 4 minutes
- Pour in the tinned tomatoes, tomato puree, stock and herbs
- Simmer for 20 minutes
- Use a stick blender to create a smooth soup
- Stir through the Mascarpone
- Serve with a swirl of Marcarpone on top and a sprinkling of finely minced rosemary needles
This Tomato and Mascarpone soup is so simple to make but the results are just wonderful. To me is is like a bowl full of memories. I’m taken right back to my childhood and less stressful times. The chill of the February landscape rolls away and the warmth of comfort fills my soul.
What is the comfort food that brings back memories for you? Let me know in the comments section and if you try this lovely soup let me know what you think too.
Karon has been sharing her real food recipes on her Larder Love blog (www.larderlove.com) for 10 years. She is a mad foodie who has had 4 cook books published, does cooking demos at big foodie events like Country Living Magazine fairs and has worked on Scottish television and for BBC Radio Scotland.
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