Mediterranean Style Tomato Soup

Mediterranean Style Tomato Soup - Tomato soup is always a firm family favourite.  If you're looking for comfort food, look no further than this recipe, perfect any time of year.

INGREDIENTS - Serves 4

1.25 kg. Ripe Tomatoes (the riper they are the fuller the flavour)

1 medium sized onion

3 Cloves of garlic

1 tsp sea salt and fresh ground black pepper

Dried Thyme and Rosemary

1 tsp. Paprika

1 tbsp chopped parsley

1 medium-sized carrot

1 Stick of celery

500ml Vegetable or chicken Stock 

1 tbsp concentrated tomato paste

1 tbsp. Heavy Cream (optional)

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Fresh Oregano and Basil for garnish

Mediterranean style Tomato Soup

METHOD

Prepare the vegetables. If the tomatoes are on the vine, pull them off and wash them, cut each tomato into quarters and slice off any hard cores (these don't soften during cooking).

Peel and chop the onion, chop the carrot and celery (roughly the same size).

Take 3 cloves of garlic but do not peel them, just chop of the root tip, (the skin will prevent them from burning but they will still release their flavour). 

Chop up 1 tbsp of fresh parsley.

Preheat the oven to 200ºC.

Spread all the ingredients on to a non-stick baking tray. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and ground pepper, thyme, rosemary, paprika and the chopped parsley. Roast on the middle of the oven for 30-40 minutes until the tomatoes have broken down and reduced to about half their size and the onions are partially caramelised.  Remove and cool slightly

In a large saucepan, warm the stock and stir in the tomato paste.

Remove the skins from the garlic. 

Add all of the ingredients from the roasting pan into the stock and let it gently simmer for 5-10 minutes, 

Use a blender to puree the soup in the pan. The soup should be smooth, with some texture. If you don't like any texture at all, just run it through a fine sieve.

Return it to the saucepan, if you want a creamy soup add some cream to taste,

serve with some thick toasted bread grilled with manchego cheese. Garnish with fresh chopped basil and oregano.

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