Good morning everyone, it’s me and I’m back as I had promised! For this blog post, I thought I’d do something a bit different from my usual baking – it’s not all that I can do! As you have seen from my meal plans that I have finally started posting online, I enjoy making soup which can then be enjoyed as a quick lunch or an even quicker dinner; add a nice warm roll to the mix and it’s perfect!
For this post, I’m going to give two of my favourite recipes at the moment, both very simple and quick to do. They both do feature tomato but if you fancy something different and seasonal, you could try my pumpkin soup (or butternut squash) which can be found here or my very popular post using the Hairy Dieter’s golden vegetable soup – it’s simply heavenly.
Another point to make, quite a few recipes I’ve found online tend to call for single cream to thicken it up. If, like me, you don’t want to add too much indulgence, you can use low fat natural yoghurt or half-fat creme fraiche. Do take care though, you don’t want it to curdle!
Tomato and Basil Soup: So quick you don’t even need to cut your own tomatoes! I’ve used Nigella’s recipe and made a few tweaks here and there for ease. I’ve omitted the single cream as, to be honest, it doesn’t really need it. Calories saved! Enjoy!
- 2 tbsp olive oil (or fry light spray)
- 500 g red onions (finely chopped)
- 3 cloves garlic (crushed)
- 4 tins chopped tomatoes (400 g each)
- 2 tsp caster sugar
- 75 g fresh basil (chopped)
- 2 tsp salt
- 2 tsp worcester sauce
- A few drops of tabasco sauce
- 142 g tomato puree
- 1 vegetable stock cube dissolved in 500 ml boiling water
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Heat the oil very large saucepan; fry the onions until softened over a medium heat.
- Add the garlic and fry for another minute, stirring frequently to prevent them from catching at the bottom of the pan.
- Add all the other ingredients except for the fresh basil and bring everything to the boil. Once boiled, then turn down the heat and cook on a low simmer for 40 mins; remove from the heat.
- Blend the soup using a hand held blender (or a food processor if you have one) until smooth without any lumps of tomato remaining.
- Add the basil leaves and stir through; add some extra milled pepper to taste and the cream/yoghurt/creme fraiche if using. Serve hot with a nice warmed bread roll and enjoy; fight winter from the inside!
Roasted red pepper and tomato: This is another Nigella recipe which I really do love. It is so easy to do, especially since you cook your vegetables together in the oven; it’s a case of mainly just boiling up your stock ready for the vegetables. The great thing about this soup is that it doesn’t involve cream, it’s so nice and thick once you’ve blended it together; I must admit, I like a thick soup rather than a ‘broth’.
- 800 g cherry tomatoes
- 2 large red onions, cut into chunky slices
- 2 red peppers, deseeded and cut into chunky pieces
- 6 cloves garlic, left whole in skins
- Sea salt
- Black pepper
- Chicken stock, dissolved in 500 ml boiling water
- tabasco, a few dashes, to taste
- Olive oil, to drizzle (or fry light spray)
- Preheat the oven to 220C/200C/ gas mark 7. Place your tomatoes, red peppers, onion and garlic to a baking tray, sprinkle with salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil or fry light spray. Mix it all around with your hands or a wooden spoon.
- Cook for approx. 45 minutes until the veg look slightly charred and the tomatoes have started to split apart.
- In a large, deep saucepan, bring the stock to the boil, adding the Worcestershire and tabasco sauces and extra pepper.
- Pick out the garlic from the roasted vegetables and squeeze the flesh out into the stock, discarding the skins. Add the rest of the vegetables to the saucepan.
- Puree using a hand blender, and blend until nearly smooth. Easy!