Tomato and basil soup

It’s definitely soup season – I’ve made three in a week. Minted pea, pea and courgette and then today; tomato and basil. I don’t understand why people would buy this from the shops when it’s cheaper and takes no time at all. The basic principle is soften onion in oil and butter, add your veg of choice, stock and simmer for 20-30 minutes over a low heat. Then whizz to your satisfaction.

Tomato and basil soup

Serves: 6

Time: 30 minutes

2tbps olive oil or a knob of butter
1 medium white onion, chopped
1 small carrot, chopped
1 clove of garlic, finely sliced
1.1kg good quality tomatoes
2 heaped tbsp tomato puree
Generous pinch of sugar
Black pepper
1 litre of hot vegetable stock
Generous handful of fresh basil

Melt the butter in a heavy bottomed saucepan. Add the onion and carrot, stir and cover with a lid and sweat for 5-8 minutes over a low heat to soften. Add the garlic towards the end and stir again.

Meanwhile mark an X in the bottom of your tomatoes and place in a large, heatproof bowl. Pour over boiling water and leave for a few minutes. Drain and the skins shoed just slide off. Cut into quarters and remove any hard core.

Back to your saucepan, add the tomato puree, stir and cook for a minute before sprinkling over the sugar. Next and your tomatoes and black pepper and continue to cook over a low heat for a few minutes, stirring everything well. Pour over the hot stock, cover with a lid again and then simmer very gently for 20 minutes.

Once everything is very soft stir in ripped fresh basil leaves and blitz with a stick blender. Serve in warm bowls with some homemade croutons and a small dollop of creme fraiche or natural yogurt.