Having recently returned from sunny Spain, I’m slightly put out that we’re running out of shorts and sandals weather in not-so-sunny Suffolk. The upside is that I can justify making lots of comforting autumnal soups. My Dad gave me a big bag of his wonderful tomatoes at the weekend so I made this tasty roasted tomato soup with them – it’s a classic Delia Smith recipe from her excellent Vegetarian Selection book. This is a perfect dinner party or ‘friends for lunch’ soup and serves four.
The tomatoes are roasted in the oven to create a rich, deep flavour for the soup and it’s served with croutons and a swirl of basil and olive oil purée. Delicious.
- 700g ripe red tomatoes.
- 1 fat clove of garlic, peeled and chopped
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- 1 small potato, about 110g, peeled and chopped
- 1 heaped tablespoon of tomato purée
- Basil purée – a small bunch of basil leaves, a teaspoon of balsamic vinegar, a large pinch of sea salt, 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- Croutons – 4 slices of ciabatta or crusty white bread cut into cubes, 1 tablespoon of olive oil
- Preheat the oven to 190C.
- To prep the tomatoes, skin them by placing them in a large bowl and pouring boiling water over them. Leave for just a minute (the texture will go fuzzy otherwise), pour away the water and slip the skins off. Cut each tomato in half and place cut side up in a roasting tray. Sprinkle the tomatoes with chopped garlic and the olive oil and season with ground sea salt and black pepper. Put them in the oven and roast for an hour. The edges should blacken a little and the flavour will concentrate.
- The cubed bread for the croutons should be tossed in olive oil and placed on a baking tray ready to go in the oven when the tomatoes come out. They take about 8 to 10 minutes but just keep an eye on them so they turn golden and don’t burn.
- Put the basil leaves and sea salt in the mortar and pound them to a pulp with the pestle. Slacken the pulp with the olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
- Peel the potato and cook it with the tomato purée in 425ml of water for about 20 minutes.
- Add the roasted tomatoes to the potato mixture when they are both ready and then blend to a smooth purée with a hand blender. Taste and adjust the seasoning should it be required.
- To serve, reheat the soup gently and top each bowl with the basil purée and some croutons.
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