Tomato and Plum Soup

This recipe is a handy and tasty variation on tomato soup that uses plums to give a sweet and sour flavour. It’s based on a Michael Smith recipe from the 1980s. I don’t mean Michael Smith the very successful Scottish chef or Michael Smith the well-known Canadian TV chef; I’m talking about Michael Smith the cookery writer, TV chef of his day and great champion of British food, who sadly died back in 1989.

This may not be exactly Mr Smith’s original recipe, but the spirit is there.

It’s possible to make this with tinned tomatoes if you’re stuck for fresh, but you’re likely to need less passata in that case. It’s crucial to get the balance of sweet and sour right for this soup and you may need to adjust the amount of sugar you add depending on the sweetness of the plums and tomatoes you’re using.
Tomato and Plum Soup
This will make 4 or 5 decent-sized portions.

1 onion, chopped
500 g plums (preferably red ones), stoned
325 g tomatoes, deseeded (you don’t have to be fanatical about the deseeding)
300 ml passata or sieved tomatoes
500 ml vegetable stock
½ tsp fresh thyme leaves
1 tsp fresh oregano leaves
about 2 tsp sugar – you may need more or less depending on the sweetness of the plums and tomatoes you’re using

Soften the onion gently in a little oil.

Add all the other ingredients, but only use 1 tsp of the sugar at this point. Season with a little salt and pepper. Bring up to a simmer and let the mixture bubble away gently for about 15 minutes or until the fruit is very soft.

Allow to cool a little, then liquidise and strain through a fine sieve. Adjust the seasoning and add more sugar if needed. Reheat and sprinkle with a few leaves of chives and parsley or chervil before serving.


  1. Haven't heard Michael Smith's name in some time. I seem to remember he'd pop up at Pebble Mill. Showing my age there.

  2. I have never heard of Michael Smith, but I will look him up. This soup sounds delicious and looks wonderful, Phil.
    Thank you for your visit!

  3. Sound svery interesting for the clasic tomatosoup to have plum in it;)

  4. wow I love that you've used plum in this! it must taste really wonderful

  5. I don;t think I've ever come across a tomato soup with plum in it before ... but now that I think of it I can imagine the flavour it must add. Fantastic idea.

  6. What an interesting (in a good way) combination. Lovely tomato soup and such beautiful picture.

  7. Intruiging combination, I would never think to pair plums with tomatoes. You've presented it beautifully, I always seem to splash or slop soup!!!

  8. What a lovely sounding soup. I like the idea of combining plum and tomatoes very much. I must try this.

  9. Love the combination of tomato and plum Phil. Definitely one to try.

  10. This sounds interesting and delicious. This is my first visit to your blog, so I spent some time browsing through your earlier recipes. I'm so glad I did that. I really like the food and recipes you share with your readers and I'll definitely be back. I hope you have a great day. Blessings...Mary

  11. This is my third try at this comment! Fantastic recipe. Served it to guests last night and they were very impressed. Diane

    1. I haven't made this myself for some time so thanks for the reminder. Glad you enjoyed it.


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