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velvety tomato soup

13. December 2007

The key to this soup is layering flavours.
I’m not a huge fan of warm tomatoes unless there is something to give them an extra kick.

In this soup, which was inspired by a recipe I’d read somewhere but couldn’t quite remember, I use all kinds of different tomatoes.
it’s a soup, so actual amounts can vary without affecting the result too much. but whatever you do, don’t skimp on the roast tomatoes. they are excellent.


6 firm, very ripe tomatoes for roasting
1 tin crushed or diced tomatoes
1 tin whole roma tomatoes
10 semi-dried tomatoes, chopped
bunch of spinach, triple-washed and roughly torn
4 garlic cloves (adjust to taste)
1 Tbsp dark soy sauce
1 Tbsp maple syrup
Tuscan seasoning or other Italian herb/spice blends
2-3 tsp dried basil
a few sprigs fresh basil, or more to taste
salt & pepper to taste

First, half your fresh tomatoes and place them on a roasting tray (I use my all-purpose cookie sheet, lined with baking paper), cut side up.
Cut your garlic into slivers and push it into the juicy bits of your tomatoes. This will keep them moist and help impart their flavour into the actual tomatoes.

Mix your soy sauce, maple syrup and Tuscan seasoning together and pour over the tomatoes. Place into a medium hot oven and roast until the tomatoes are nice and soft and their skin blisters and blackens in spots.

Meanwhile, combine all your other tomatoes in a nice large pot and heat. Add your dried basil, but reserve the fresh. It’s not necessary to boil the soul, just heat it through. Add your spinach and wilt.
Turn off the heat once the spinach is wilted down and cover the pot until your roasted tomatoes are done.

Remove tomatoes from your tray and puree them in a blender. You can make them whatever consistency you like. I like a rough chunky soup, but you could certainly get it completely velvety smooth.

Stir in the roast tomatoes with your soup and heat again. Add fresh basil, salt & pepper. Sprinkle some fresh torn basil leaves over each bowl and serve with fresh crusty bread.
For more substance, you can add borlotti beans into the soup.

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