My Ultimate Tomato Soup

My ultimate tomato soup – oven roasted tomatoes, garlic, chillies, red onion and Romano peppers give this soup the deepest of flavours.

I wanted to make a tomato soup which tasted differently to my other versions, which are quite heavily spiced. With this soup I oven roasted the vegetables and added them to a soup base of fried celery and carrot along with some stock and herbs. The result was a true tomato soup with a real depth of tomato flavour.

To accompany the soup I made some simple croutons out of a couple of slices of sour dough bread – rubbing the cubes in the same tray as the roasted vegetables helped imprint the flavour into the croutons.

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Gives two large portions

Preparation and cooking time less than 1 hour

Ingredients and method

2 sticks celery – slice thinly

3 medium carrots – peel, slice thinly

1-2 tbsp. olive oil – plus a little extra to drizzle on croutons

6 round tomatoes

3 small red onions

1 Romano pepper – remove stalk and seeds before roasting

1 large red chilli – remove stalk and seeds before roasting

4 cloves garlic – keep in skin for roasting (prevents it burning)

1 litre stock – chicken or vegetable

2-3 tsp brown sugar

salt and pepper

2 slices of sourdough bread

4-6 basil leafs

1 tbps chopped parley

2 bay leafs

Method: start by preheating your oven to around 200°C, space out the tomatoes, onions, chillies, Romano peppers and garlic on a non stick backing tray then roast for 15-20 minutes then remove from oven and set aside to cool.

In a deep stock/soup pot warm 1-2 tbsp. of olive oil over a medium heat then add the bay leafs, celery and carrot. Fry for around 5 minutes until the carrots and celery begin to soften then remove from the heat. Once the roasted vegetables are cooled remove the skins from the pepper, tomatoes and garlic then add (along with the chilli) into the soup pan and return to the heat. Fry for a further 5 minutes then add the stock followed by the herbs (basil and parsley), bring to boil then reduce to a simmer for 20 minutes.

As the soup simmers make the croutons – cut the sour dough into 2cm cubes then tip them on to the same baking tray used to roast the vegetables, rub the cubes of bread into the tray to absorb and juices or residue left from the roasted vegetables then drizzle with a little olive oil. Place in the oven at 200°C and bake for 8-10 minutes until golden and crispy, remove from oven and set aside to cook.

Remove the bay leafs from the soup then use a stick blender to blitz the soup until smooth. Add 2 teaspoon of brown sugar, a generous amount of black pepper and season with a little salt. Taste test and adjust seasoning to taste. Heat the soup through then ladle into soup bowls, adding a generous handful of croutons just before serving. Enjoy.

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White Cabbage Soup

A delicious healthy soup. Easy to make and a pleasure to eat.

White cabbage soups are far creamier and less bitter than green cabbage soups. White cabbage along with carrots, leek, onion, peas, celery, bay leaf, parsnips and garden peas make a flavourful filling soup that is perfect for cold winter nights.

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4-6 generous portions

Preparation 20 minutes, cooking 60 minutes

Ingredients

1 white cabbage – outer leafs and stalk removed, roughly chopped then washed

2 large white onions – diced

3 sticks celery – sliced

1 leek – split, washed then sliced

4-6 medium sized carrots – peeled, sliced

3 medium sized parsnips – peeled, sliced

60g garden peas – defrost if using frozen

Small handful flat leaf parsley

1.5L chicken or vegetable stock

1-2 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 bay leafs

Salt and pepper to taste

Stick blender required for this recipe

Method: start by heating 1-2 tablespoons of vegetable oil in a deep soup pot. Add the leek, carrot, parsnips, celery and onion then fry for 4-5 minutes over a medium heat until softened. Add the peas and cabbage and fry for a further 3-4 minutes then add the stock. Add the parsley and bay leaf along with a generous amount of seasoning, bring to the boil, cover then simmer for around 45 minutes. Next remove from the heat, remove lid and take out the bay leafs. Use a stick blender to blend into a smooth soup. Taste for seasoning and add extra if required, if too strong add a little water to balance. Before serving heat through, then serve with some nice crusty bread – enjoy!

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Mexican Soup

A wonderful rich, smokey and spicy soup inspired by the soups I have tasted travelling in Mexico. The flavour from the gaujilo chillies and chipolte paste make this soup something very special.

The soup is made from a flavour base of bay leaf, guajilo chillies, garlic and onion which is fried in a little olive oil. Carrots, celery, peppers, red chilli, tomato paste, pasatta and fresh coriander is then added. A spice mix of chipolte paste, cumin seeds, ground coriander, smoked paprika, oregano, a little sugar and seasoning is added before some stock. The soup is then simmered for 45 minutes before being blended.

 

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Makes 4 portions

Preparation time 20 minutes, cooking time 1 hour

Ingredients

2 tbsp Olive oil

2 Bay leafs

2 dried gaujilo chilles – soak in water for 40 minutes, discard water

4 gloves garlic – crush and peel

2 white onions – peel, dice

4 carrots – peel and cut into fine discs

2 sticks celery – slice thinly

1 orange bell pepper – diced

1 Yellow bell pepper – diced

1 red chilli – thinly slice

2 tsp tomato paste

500-600g Pasatta

1 handful fresh coriander – use leaf and stalks

1 tsp cumin seeds

1 tsp ground coriander

1 tsp smoked paprika

2 tsp chipolte paste

2 tsp sugar

1.5L vegetable or chicken stock

Salt and Pepper to taste

You require a deep soup pan and a stick blender for this recipe

Cooking instructions

  1. Start by heating 2 tbsp Olive oil in a deep pan over a medium heat. Add the bay leaf, gaujilo chillies, garlic and onions and fry for 3-4 minutes.
  2. Add the carrots, celery, peppers, red chilli and coriander leaf and fry for a further 3-4 minutes until mixture softens.
  3. Add the passatta and tomato paste stir through the mixture. Next add the cumin, ground coriander, oregano, chipolte paste and the smoked paprika. Stir frequently and simmer for 3-4 minutes.
  4. Add 1.5L of stock and 2 tsp of sugar and stir well. Bring to the boil then cover and simmer for approx 45 minutes.
  5. After 45 minutes turn off heat and uncover the soup. Remove the bay leafs then use a stick blender to blitz soup until smooth. Taste the soup and season with salt and pepper to taste – because soup is well spiced you may not need very much at all.
  6. Serve and enjoy.