So simple, so delicious. The trick with any soup is long cooking, extracting every last bit of flavour that is available in the freshest ingredients that you can get.
Judiciously add a little double cream right at the end and you will have a soup that tastes suspiciously like an extremely well-known and popular brand of tomato soup – at a fraction of the price.
RECIPE – feeds 6
2 tbsp olive oil
2 medium carrots, roughly chopped
2 sticks of celery, roughly chopped
2 medium onions, roughly chopped
2 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
2 vegetable stock cubes
2 tins of tomatoes
8 large ripe tomatoes
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
a good pinch of caster sugar
a small bunch of basil, leaves and stalks
double cream, to taste
Heat the oven to 200C/ 180C fan/ gas 6.
Keep the tomatoes whole and put them in a small roasting tin in the centre of the oven for 20-30 minutes until soft and just staring to char.
Meanwhile, in a large pan, heat the oil and add the carrots, celery, onions and garlic and gently sweat on a low heat under a cartouche for twenty minutes until deeply aromatic and very soft. Include the green tomato vine stalks if you have them, they add incredible flavour. Just chop the stalks up into small pieces.
|*Tip: Sweating vegetables under a piece of parchment is known as using a cartouche. It is a way of cooking that simultaneously sweats and steams the vegetables, extracting maximum flavour in minimum time.
Cut a square of baking parchment that is slightly larger than the surface area of your pan, push it down so it sits on top of your sweating vegetables and then tuck the sides down so the vegetables are completely covered. Keep the heat low and after a few minutes check to see that nothing is catching on the bottom of the pan, then re-cover and continue to sweat them until they are as soft as you need them to be and the aroma is filling your kitchen.
Turn the the heat up and add 1.5 litres of just-boiled water, crumble the stock cubes into it and add the tinned tomatoes and roasted tomatoes. Keep the tomatoes whole at this point.
Bring to the boil then turn down to a gentle simmer and cook for 15 minutes under a lid.
Remove from the heat, add the vinegar and sugar, stir well then season. Now add the basil, whole, and blitz to a smooth soup using either a stick blender or decant into a flask blender. If using a flask blender you will need to do it in batches.
If you have used the tomato vine stalks then pass the soup through a sieve to remove any tough fibres. Check the seasoning again and gradually add the double cream until it tastes exactly how you like it.
Add a little water to loosen it up if necessary, and serve with crusty bread.
You will love this!