The lightest possible kind of soup can be useful to have in the house at Christmas. It could be the answer, either at the end of the day of overeating when you simply don’t want another big meal, or an appetizing but not too filling course.
Wash the onion but don’t peel it. Then cut it into eight. Cut up the tomatoes and carrots roughly. Put all the vegetables into a saucepan and pour in the water. Season with salt and black pepper and the caster sugar. Cover the pan, bring it to the boil and simmer for about 1½ hours.
Line a large sieve with a thin, clean linen tea cloth and put it over another saucepan. Pour the soup into the sieve, pushing gently with a wide wooden spoon to get all the liquid through the sieve and the tea cloth. Check the soup for seasoning and discard the vegetables. Before re-heating the soup, slice the lettuces across as thinly as you can. Bring the soup to boiling point, add the shredded lettuce, bubble for half a minute only, and then remove from the heat. Stir in the sherry to taste and serve. White bowls look prettiest for the clear, golden soup.
© 1978 Josceline Dimbleby. All rights reserved.