I am going to be bold here and say this is not a recipe you are going to find in many Norwegian cookery books and certainly not something you'll find on the menu of many (if any) gourmet restaurants, but I promise you it's firm favourite in Norway and especially when we have cold snowy weather. I don't think I have ever seen this version of tomato soup anywhere else and it's not a dish that Norwegians shout about. Maybe that is because it's so simple and feels rather like nursery food. There are times when we need a bit of that though!!
This simple, delicious and filling soup is easily recognisable by pretty much the whole of Norway and it's something we reach for when we want a nutritious and comforting meal. It's a bit of nostalgia really with reminders of cold days at kindergarten and school. Tomato soup became popular in Norway almost as soon as it appeared in packets in 1961 and the idea of adding macaroni was born. Goodness knows who dreamed up adding pasta to it, but maybe people needed something more filling, or perhaps it felt a bit exotic and like a mini trip to Italy. But whatever the reason tomatsuppe med makaroni is most definitely here to stay.
As you know I love to share recipes that have just a handful of good quality, natural ingredients and honour our traditions a little. This is one of those recipes.
If you have never had soup with egg in it, it's a bit unexpected, but do try it, because I am sure you will be an instant convert!
Tomatsuppe med makaroni og egg (tomato soup with macaroni and egg). Serves 4 people
15g / 0.5 oz butter
1 onion, finely chopped
1 carrot, peeled and finely chopped
1 stalk celery, finely chopped
700ml / 1.5 pints stock or bouillon
2 x 450g /1 lb tins tomatoes
1 teaspoon tomato puree
Pinch of sugar
1 tablespoon cornflour
120ml / 0.25 pints milk
A little salt and pepper
50g / 2oz dried macaroni, cooked until tender
1/2 hard boiled egg per person
Melt the butter in a large pan. Add the onion, carrot and celery and fry over a gentle heat until they are soft and translucent.
Add the tomatoes, stock, sugar and tomato puree and simmer gently for about 20 minutes or until the vegetables are all very tender.
Liquidise the soup and then pass it through a sieve. You don't have to sieve the soup if you like it with more bite, but I prefer the smooth velvety texture of a sieved soup.
Return the soup to the pan. In a small bowl combine the milk and cornflour and add this to the soup. Bring up to the boil and boil for a minute to cook out the cornflour. Season with salt and pepper. Add the cooked macaroni to the soup and allow it to reheat.
To serve, give everyone a generous bowlful of soup and top with a hardboiled egg cut into 2. For an added flourish, garnish with a sprig of fresh parsley.
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