Roast Tomato Soup

This recipe will be filed under For My Kids, recipes for when my girls leave home.

Buying the Tomatoes

OK my darlings, this is simple and straight forward but it all hangs on the ripeness of the tomatoes, choose the deepest red ones you can find.  This is the perfect time to buy them at the Turkish or Indian greengrocers than at the supermarket as they’ll be cheaper and more likely to be riper.  Beware of tomatoes lying on a green colour background they’ll look redder appearing riper than they actually are.

Tomatoes that look ripe in colour but are in fact still not ripe inside will have a very tight skin and feel quite hard.  In an ideal world you would buy the tomatoes a few days, preferably a week, before using and sit them by a sunny window.  I always try and buy them a week before I use them.

Cut the tomatoes in half lay then in roasting tins in one layer.  I can fit two tins in my wide oven which means you’ll have to roast one at a time in a normal size oven, unless one tray fits on the floor of the oven.

Tuck the garlic cloves under the tomatoes to protect them and keep an eye on them as they might need fishing out halfway through roasting the tomatoes about 20 minutes into the cooking.  It will depend if they get protected by the water released from the tomatoes in which case they won’t burn, burnt garlic cloves tastes acrid and nasty.

Roast tomatoes for 30-40 minutes until they are shrivelled a bit, lost some of their juice.  The onions should look cooked.

Remove the cloves of garlic and put them aside for now.

Add the tomatoes, onions and all of the juice from the roasting tins to the large pot.  Add the cubed potatoes, and one and half teaspoon of salt.

Now squeeze the cloves of garlic and the cooked soft inside should squeeze out easily.

Add it to the soup, discarding the skins!

Cook the soup on a medium heat (when you can see a few bubbles on the surface gently bubbling away) for about 20 minutes until the potatoes are soft.

To test if the potatoes are done by pressing them with a fork and the fork should go through easily.

Check if it needs any more salt, it may need another half a teaspoon, and add some freshly ground pepper.

Off the heat add the fresh basil.

Liquidise the soup.  Taste again.

The decorative sprig of basil is optional girls!

Roast Tomato Soup

The amounts here making one very large pot, easy to put half in the freezer but otherwise cut the recipe by half.  I’ve added a little potato here to thicken the soup, it adds body but you can leave it out which will obviously produce a thinner soup.

Depending on the type of tomatoes you have used will depend whether you need to add a little water or stock at the end, I haven’t added that to the ingredient list but bare this in mind.

For Roasting:

  • 5 kg of ripe tomatoes, washed cut in half
  • 2-3 red or yellow onions, peeled and cut into large chunks
  • 6-8 fat garlic cloves, left whole with skin left on
  • extra virgin olive oil to drizzle over
For Boiling:
  • 500g peeled potatoes cut into small cubes
  • 1.5-2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 large handful of fresh basil leaves
  • black pepper, a few good grindings
  • 1/2 teaspoon of sugar (if needed)

Pre-heat the oven to 200C fan

Place the cut tomatoes in the two large roasting tins, place the red onion and the garlic cloves tucked under them, drizzle generously the olive oil over.  Roast for 30-40 minutes until the tomatoes have noticeably shrunk.  Check halfway through roasting if the garlic is burning remove it, if they in the juice of the tomatoes they’ll be fine.

Remove the garlic cloves and put them aside.  Put the tomatoes, onions and all of the juice from the tins into a very large pot and to that add the cubed potatoes and 1.5 teaspoon of salt.  Squeeze the garlic flesh out of the skins and add it to the pot.  There should enough liquid in there to cook the potatoes but add a touch of water or stock if it’s too dry.  Cook on a low boil for 20 minutes until the potatoes are cooked.

Add freshly ground pepper, check if it needs the half teaspoon of salt.  Liquidize soup and taste it again check the seasoning.  If your tomatoes were unripe or not a particular good variety you can add half a teaspoon of sugar to balance out the acidity.