Tomato and Leek Soup

serves about 4, maybe

ingredients

  • tomatoes, preferably fresh, if not from a can, jar or carton
  • 2-3 medium to large leeks
  • a handful of shallots
  • large red chillies
  • 2 limes
  • a large piece of ginger
  • lemon thyme
  • a few bay leaves
  • 1.5 litres of chicken or vegetable stock
  • gold or dark rum (I used cockspur 12)

method

  1. peel and finely shop your shallots, add to a large pan with a good splash of olive oil and a pinch of salt. fry gently for a few minutes until the onions start to colour but not burn.
  2. thinly slice your leeks and add them to the shallots. finely chop the chillies and thyme, add to the pan and grate in the ginger. don’t go overboard with the chilli, you don’t want to overpower the rest of the flavours.
  3. (saying that, a spicier version with scotch bonnets or habaneros might be very nice.)
  4. let the leeks cook down for a few minutes over a low to moderate heat, stirring as they go.
  5. once the leeks are soft, squeeze the juice from both limes into the mix and add the tomatoes, stock and bay leaves. bring to a gentle simmer, cover and leave to cook for half an hour or more.
  6. taste the soup to check for citrusyness, spiciness and for seasoning. if it’s too spicy add a little sugar, don’t let it get too sweet though and balance it with a bit more lime or lemon if it does.
  7. once you’ve got the balance just right, ladle into large bowls. add a dash of rum to each bowl (don’t go overboard) (really) and serve.

tomato, leek, ginger and rum soup

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