Monday, 6 January 2014

Blue Monday Recipe: roasted tomato soup

January is the grimmest month. My birthday is in January. The official worst day of the year, Blue Monday, is always around my birthday. Oh for a birthday in June when days are long, when you can sit outside until almost midnight. The lilac and the pear blossom has just finished blooming. You can eat cherries and strawberries and stuffed courgette flowers with soft cheese. Windows and doors are open, cars drive by, drifting summertime music in their wake. Of course, June is when the happiest day occurs. 
What is good about January?
Blood oranges. Being inside while it rains. The possibility of snow. Feeling justified in not going outside. The occasional hot chocolate. Sitting by the Aga. Putting logs on the fire. Wearing boots. Buying a new coat in the sales. Forcing chicory. Seville bitter oranges and making marmalade. Soup with buttered bread.
Here is my recipe for soup on the Kenwood site. It's easy. It may look like Heinz but it has a deeper taste. And this recipe is vegan. I like to leave a few tomato seeds in it, so that you know it is real.
Serves 4 to 6

1 kilo of Fresh Tomatoes
1 or 2 Red Bell Peppers
1 Aubergine (optional)
1 Head of Garlic, 

A Finger of Celery
1 or 2 Carrots, topped, tailed, peeled
Olive Oil
150ml Vegetable Stock
20ml of Sherry
Fresh Basil Leaves to garnish

The instructions for the recipe are here. 

What is your grimmest month? Do you find January depressing? Do you, like me, have a January birthday when most people are too broke to buy you a present?


  1. Happy Birthday! Maybe you should move to New Zealand where your birthday would be in midsummer. My birthday used to be in late autumn; I really like being able to have a birthday picnic now (well, sometimes anyway - I wouldn't have last year as we skipped spring completey). That soup does look good.

  2. That sounds like a plan Sarah! Always wanted to go to New Zealand and Australia.

  3. Happy Birthday! Friends of mine had their son on Christmas Day. Since he was born, they have given him an official 'Summer birthday' (like the Queen) in the middle of June, so he gets a proper birthday celebration that isn't over-shadowed by Christmas. That's when he has his birthday party (well, had - he's a Uni now and may no longer bother!) and gets birthday presents. As someone whose birthday is slap in the middle of August, I can tell you that's no sinecure either. As a child who went to boarding school, all my friends were scattered on holiday in their own homes miles away when my birthday came around, so no party. And as an adult, my friends are either away on holiday with their children - no party - or at home WITH the children ... no babysitters and thus ... no party!

    1. That's such a pain isn't it? My nan's birthday was Christmas Eve which is perhaps slightly worse. August isn't good either I agree, everyone is on holiday. That's why I think June is a great birthday month.

  4. Well don´t care about birthdays. Or count the years of prime numbers only. Or celebrate every 100 days and every 1000 with special sacrifice ( to Demeter, to Bacchus, to Orpheus or to all of them).
    Since Dec. 21 daylight increases ! It´s getting better everyday.
    Hippie daze
    (from Emscher-belt, where Helios doesn´t ever shine; so we must import Him in bottles from Rhine, Mosella, Rhone &c.)

  5. Yes Krischan you are right, it IS getting brighter every day. Just looked up Emscher, it has a similar deadening grey light to London. Months of feeling like one is in that movie The Others, padding around under thick cloud.
    Woody Allen loves London's light for his movies. Hmm.

    1. Perhaps you can take a - cold - comfort in an old pitman´s ( the probably fictitious grandfather of novelist Frank Goosen of Bochum ) intuition :"Elsewhere is crap, too."
      Kind regards from decrepit Recklinghausen, where I live among beer drinking, mafficking soccer aficionados

    2. Have googled 'mafficking' it means to rejoice. What a great word!

  6. Love this photo and the little pots you've used for the soup! xx

  7. Pots of soup would have to make you feel richer surely?

  8. Das klingt sehr lecker. Das Rezept wird eines der nächsten sein, die ich auf jeden Fall ausprobieren werde.


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