Traditional Scottish Recipes
- Love Apple Soup with Claret

"Love apple" was an early name for tomatoes so the ingredients are not so hard to find as you might have first thought! The soup makes a great start to any meal, especially in winter. The quantities below are sufficient for 8/10 people (though you can refrigerate and have half the next day).

1 oz (30g or ¼ stick) butter
4 oz (125g or one cup) chopped onion
2 oz (60g or ½ cup) grated carrots
1 medium stick celery, thinly sliced
2lb (1 kilo) tin tomatoes
2 rounded tablespoons tomato purée
2 oz (60g or ½ cup) chopped streaky bacon
¼ pint (150ml or ½ cup) claret
4 tablespoons extra claret
2 pints (1 litre or 5 cups) water or light chicken stock
1 level tablespoon sugar
2 level tablespoons cornflour
1 bouquet garni
2 or 3 level teaspoons salt (or to taste)
Single cream (to garnish)
Sprigs parsley or thyme, finely chopped

Heat the butter in a large lidded pan, add the vegetables and bacon and fry for about ten minutes over a medium heat, stirring occasionally, until they have turned pale gold (but avoid burning).
Stir in the tomatoes, claret and water (or stock), bouquet garni, tomato purée, sugar and salt. Bring to the boil, stirring continually and then cover and simmer for about an hour , stirring occasionally.
Remove the bouquet garni, liquidise or seive finely. It's at this stage that you can refrigerate some or all of the soup for use later in the day or the next day.
Reheat, uncovered, stirring frequently. Mix the cornflower with the 4 tablespoons extra claret, pour a little hot soup into the claret mix, stirring vigourously, then add to the soup. Heat and stir until thick and simmer for three minutes.
Ladle into warm plates and swirl in the cream. Sprinkle some finely chopped parsley or thyme and serve with crusty bread.

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