We’re pretty massive soup fans – they’re usually cheap, often quick, very healthy and so tasty. This one isn’t particularly quick, but it is beautiful… A rich, tangy tomato soup made from very slowly roasted tomatoes and not much else! To accompany the soup we made a spelt loaf. Spelt is an ancient grain (the Romans were fans!) which is slightly rougher textured than a wholemeal and has a really lovely nutty flavour.
To keep the spelt bread light and fluffy we mixed it with white flour (300g spelt to 200g white) but other than this we followed our basic bread recipe and shaped it into a round rather than using a loaf tin for a more rustic feel. Keep an eye out for some more spelt themed bakes coming up!
Ingredients for the soup (this made 2-3 portions)
- 750g of medium sized plum tomatoes, quartered
- 2 cloves of garlic, still in their skin but stripped of any loose papery bits
- 1-2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 3-4 sprigs of fresh thyme
- 1/2 tsp of dried chilli flakes (optional)
- rock salt
- black pepper
- 1 small white onion, finely diced
- 1 small potato/half a baking potato, diced
Preheat the oven to 150°C. Take the quartered tomatoes and add them to a large roasting dish along with the garlic, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, the leaves from the thyme sprigs, the chilli flakes and a good pinch of both salt and pepper. Mix this all around and then pop in the preheated oven.
These are left to cook for around 2 hours and need very little attention – a stir every half hour ought to do it! Once cooked they will be the most delicious, melt-in-the-mouth sunblush style tomatoes, but try to resist eating them all at this stage – you’ve got a soup to make! We roasted our tomatoes one evening and made the soup the following evening to save on time a bit, this meant that when it came to actually making the soup it was ready in less than half an hour so we could fit it in after work.
When you’re ready to make the soup take as much of the oil from the roasting dish as you can and put it into a large saucepan. This means that you’re getting the wonderful tomato flavour right from the start, and also means you won’t make the finished dish too greasy by adding yet more oil. Add the chopped onion and fry very gently for around 5 minutes until it starts to become translucent and softened. Throw in the potato, stir to combine, squeeze the garlic cloves out of their skins and into the soup and then add in the tomatoes making sure you scrape every last bit of the juice and the oil in. Fry this for a minute or two before adding enough boiling water to cover. Cook for around 20 minutes or until the potatoes are soft, and then whizz it up so it’s smooth – a hand blender that you place in the pan works the best for this and saves you dragging out a food processor which you then have to wash up. You can pick hand blenders up for as little as £10 and they are so useful.
We had ours with the spelt bread that we mentioned above. This worked brilliantly – the sweet nuttyness of the spelt combined with the fruity tomato soup spiked with a little chilli was a perfect match. If you don’t like chilli feel free to leave it out, or if you fancy a spicy tomato soup then whack some more in – it’s completely up to you and your tastebuds!
Soups are a staple for us year round, but especially in the autumn and winter… Our extra special favourite that we’ve been looking forward to for months involves butternut squash! We’re hoping to expand our soup repertoire too so let us know your favourite in the comments.