A rich, flavoursome soup perfect for a lunchtime pick me up
This soup is inspired by the best bit of another recipe on this blog, the Jamie Oliver 'Rudolf The Red-nosed Reindeer' risotto (it's mouthful to say... and oh boy, to taste!). The best bit? The roasted tomatoes that simmer away in the oven with glugs of olive oil, garlic cloves and fresh herbs, the smell of which fill the kitchen with such a wonderful aroma that I think I could live off that one recipe alone for the rest of my life. But it's not always practical to make a whole risotto, so this recipe distils that roasted tomato flavour into a soup, that's incredibly easy to make.
Ingredients - serves 2
750g ripe tomatoes
Half a bulb of garlic, cloves separated
Handful of fresh thyme/basil
Salt and pepper
1 small onion finely chopped
300ml bouillon stock
Start by lining a medium-sized, high-sided baking tray with foil or baking parchment (or this fancy mix of the two). Dribble some olive oil in the bottom and then prep your tomatoes, using the first one in the tin to wipe the olive oil around a bit. Using a sharp knife core the large tomatoes just by slipping the knife in around the green stem and pulling it out. Make a cross or deep cut in the top too so the skin can split when it cooks. Place the tommies in the pan and add the garlic cloves, herbs and salt and pepper. Then liberally drizzle on more olive oil and put them in a moderately hot oven (about 180C) for about 25 minutes or until the tomatoes are super-soft when you jab them with a knife and the garlic cloves are soft too. Leave the tin to cool slightly before skinning the tomatoes as much as you can be bothered to do. Also squeeze the garlic out of its skins and discard the cooked herbs. And enjoy the aromas!
Sweat the finely chopped onion in a pan and once it's softened add in the skin-less (sloppy) tomatoes. You can do all the skinning and leave the good stuff in the tin if you like - then pour ALL of the tin into the onions - basically use all the cooking oil flavoured with garlic and thyme etc. Or you might find it easier to skin the tomatoes over the saucepan, but whatever method you use, make sure the skinned tomatoes, skinned garlic cloves and all that lovely oil go into the saucepan. Add in some fresh thyme, roughly chopped - about half a handful. Let it simmer and bubble away while you put the kettle on and make up 300ml of stock.
Let it simmer again for a few minutes and then remove it from the heat so you can blitz it with a hand blender. Add salt and pepper to taste and serve with deliciously crusty bread or crumpets smothered in cheese.
Garlic fans - I used about eight cloves and it is delicious, but I know too much garlic (however softened and yummy it is having been roasted) isn't for everyone, so do reign that back to about four or fives cloves if you prefer.
You could also probably stretch this out to serve three or four people by adding more stock as it's a rich soup and a small portion goes a long way! Personally I'd eat the whole lot...