Monday 18 July 2011

The Art of Food: Midsummer Soup

Those who know me know I am prone to regular acts of indiscriminate cookery.  I do love to cook and bake and am just looking for an excuse to merge together my love of art and my love of food.  

Oh, look, I've found one.  

Welcome to my recipes based on paintings, or The Art of Food! 

Midsummer Soup

2 tbsp oil or knob of butter
1kg ripe tomatoes
1 tube of tomato puree
2 onions
2 cloves of garlic
3 medium potatoes
Pinch of chilli flakes or one fresh chilli
Bunch of basil
1tsp of honey
1 ltr vegetable stock
Large tbsp. of sour crème or crème fraiche (optional)

Slice garlic, onions, potatoes and tomatoes roughly and cover and sweat in melted butter or oil with basil and chilli for 15 minutes on lowest heat.
Add stock, honey, tomato puree and seasoning and simmer for  a further 30 minutes.
Puree, check seasoning and swirl in cream.

Two women fan a third who sleeps in the drowsy summer heat, all swathed in classical robes.  Their vibrant orange robes give a hint of the power of the sun that swelters them as they rest, longing for some cool air.  Midsummer by Albert Moore (1887) is a beautiful example of decadent, classical-inspired art from the later Victorian period, and is often compared with such painters as Leighton and Alma Tadema.  However, his use of two near identical women as the handmaidens for the central figure is reminiscent of D G Rossetti’s Astarte Syriaca and displays a sympathy with the symbolist aspects of his primarily Aesthetic work.

The soup created for this work has the same vibrant colour and heat of the painting, and it’s fresh ingredients are at their most potent in midsummer.  It can also cheer a winter day and remind you that summer will be with us again soon.


  1. Looks lovely - love cooking.

  2. I will have a go at that soup.I have a great urge for home made soup these days! I too have spontaneous outbursts of cooking passion,wish I was a bit more consitant.!!


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