2016-02-07 14.47.59
Alder thicket

This afternoon I went for a wet, wet winter walk in the fields and woods around Osmaston village.  The ground was sodden, the rivers and streams swirling with brown water and every so often, more rain poured from the steel-grey sky.


However, I was there by choice, in the company of good friends and a dog, and in spite of the squelching mud underfoot, we had a very enjoyable time.  The first snowdrops were spotted in the hedgerow.

Once we got home, it was good to warm up again with a bowl of soup.  I’d made it earlier in the day and was rather pleased with how it turned out.  I’ve called it Cheat’s Tomato Soup because it has the satisfying gunky taste of Heinz Cream of Tomato Soup, but it is secretly healthy and dead easy to make.  So without further ado, here is the recipe.


  • Onion, 1
  • Garlic, 1 clove
  • Oil for frying, 1 TB
  • Large tin of reduced sugar baked beans (400g*), 1
  • Large tin of tomatoes (400g*), 1
  • Marigold stock powder, 1 tsp
  • Fresh red chilli, 1, deseeded and roughly chopped
  • To serve:  creme fraiche* (half fat) and one spring onion chopped finely, or chives

To make

  1. Chop the onion coarsely. Mince the garlic.
  2. Heat the oil in a large saucepan and fry the onion for a few minutes to soften.  Add the garlic and stir.
  3. Add the beans and the tomatoes plus one tin full of water.  Bring to the boil.
  4. Stir in the stock powder and the chilli. Turn the heat right down, and simmer for 30 minutes.
  5. Remove from the heat and liquidise.  If it’s too thick, you can let it down with stock.
  6. Serve with a spoonful of creme fraiche and scatter the spring onion in an artistically japanese sort of way over the surface.



*If you live in America, the imperial equivalent is 14.1 oz, and I think creme fraiche would be sour cream 








  1. Hi, I think this recipe is one for the soon student to be 🙂 cookbook – combining all the favourites: baked beans, tomato and creme fraiche! And the photo looks great – thank you


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