Put the oil, onions, celery, carrots,
potatoes and bay leaves in a big casserole dish,
or two saucepans. Fry gently until the
onions are softened – about 10-15 mins.
Fill the kettle and boil it.
Stir in the tomato purée, sugar, vinegar,
chopped tomatoes and passata, then
crumble in the stock cubes. Add 1 litre
boiling water and bring to a simmer.
Cover and simmer for 15 mins until the
potato is tender, then remove the bay
leaves. Purée with a stick blender (or
ladle into a blender in batches) until
very smooth. Season to taste and add a
pinch more sugar if it needs it. The soup
can now be cooled and chilled for up
to 2 days, or frozen for up to 3 months.
To serve, reheat the soup, stirring in
the milk – try not to let it boil. Serve in
small bowls for the children with cheesy
sausage rolls then later
in bowls for the adults as Hot Bloody
Mary soup (see 'Goes well with' recipes, below).