Castilian Soup

Castilian Soup – thick tomato soup with rice and green pepper – makes a sustaining first course for a cold day’s main

meal.

10 fl. oz. water 2 small green peppers, white pith

removed, cored, seeded and cut into strips 2 oz. butter 2 lb. tomatoes, blanched, peeled, seeded and coarsely chopped

1 large onion, finely chopped

4 tablespoons flour

H pints chicken stock

2 teaspoon dried basil

1 small bay leaf

1 tablespoon lemon juice

2 teaspoons brown sugar

1 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoon black pepper

4 oz. cold cooked rice

In a medium-sized saucepan, bring the water to the boil over high heat. Add the green pepper. Reduce the heat to moderate and simmer for 10 minutes. Drain the green pepper and dry with kitchen paper towels. Discard the water.

In the same saucepan, melt

2 table-spoons of the butter over moderate heat. Add the tomatoes and half the onion to the pan. Cook them for 8 to 10

minutes or until the onion is soft and translucent. Remove the pan from the heat and push the tomato-and-onion mixture

through a strainer into a bowl.

Melt the rest of the butter in the pan and cook the remaining onion in it for 8 to 10 minutes or until it is soft and golden. Remove the pan from the heat. With a wooden spoon, stir in the flour. Return the pan to the heat and cook the mixture for 5 minutes.

Mix in the strained tomato mixture and the stock. Cook the soup for 25 to 30 minutes or until it is thick and smooth, stirring constantly. Add the basil, bay leaf, lemon juice, sugar, salt, pepper, rice and green pepper. Reduce the heat to

low and simmer the soup for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove the bay

leaf and ladle the soup into a warmed tureen or individual bowls.

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