Red, roasted tomato soup

With the wintery winds not showing any sign of easing up yet, why not warm up the whole family with this wholesome, homely soup recipe from Holly Bell?

Holly Bell's red, roasted tomato soup

The perfect lunch option for a chilly day, this red, roasted tomato soup will warm everyone up whilst we patiently wait for some Spring time sun.

Ingredients:

  • 40 tomatoes chopped in half
  • a splash of olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 2 onions, peeled and chopped roughly
  • 1 celery stick relieved of mud and slugs and roughly chopped water, from the tap

Method:

  1. Take the halved tomatoes, with skin on (I cannot be bothered to skin tomatoes though I am sure the end result would be smoother if you did. Let’s rename the soup ‘rustic’ as way of explanation) and pop seeded side up on baking trays.
  2. Artistically drizzle olive oil over them, then add salt and pepper.
  3. Pop in an oven for around 8 hours on Gas 1. Needless to say, we went out whilst the tomatoes were doing their sun blushed shrivelling act.
  4. Once suitably shrivelled, pop the tomatoes and the oily juice they’ve produced into a large saucepan and put in the fridge. At least overnight, 24 hours if possible. They seem to produce more juice when left to sit and weep.
  5. When you’re ready for your soup, fry the onions and celery in a splash of the oil from the tomato mixture until soft. I leave the lid on and keep the heat low. The smell should remind you of Heinz, but fear not, it isn’t that sweet.
  6. Then add the tomato mix from the fridge and let the pan get nice and warm, but don’t boil.
  7. Add half a pint of tap water, stir, remove from the heat and blend with a hand held blender. Check the consistency. I’m more a purée fan than thin consommé adorer, but add whatever amount of water suits you, remembering that the more you add, the more you dilute the flavour.
  8. Heat through and give it a final blend just before you serve. This soup has some texture but I like that. You could peel and de-seed the tomatoes to remove the texture if you so wish. You could also add some fresh basil or some chilli, depending on your disposition.

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