Everyone agrees cold nights call for steaming hot bowls of soup. With winter having descended across Australia, you see the line up of office workers microwaving their bulging Tupperware containers of left over soup they’ve had the night before. Sure enough it’s not always the home made variety, but you see the envy in their eyes when you put on display the consummate liquid lunch you have brought that was freshly made the night before.
When Oliver Twist declared … please sir can I have some more … who would have thought he was espousing my home-made roasted tomato and basil soup.
Freshly roasted tomato & basil soup
There are many variations of tomato soup. I first tasted this robust and morish soup as a kid on holiday in the northern wintery Italian Alps of Cortina. While the rich European adults rubbed shoulders après style, I couldn’t think of anything better than immersing myself with the largest bowl of freshly roasted tomato basil soup which warmed every cold morsel of my body.
The look and smell and ultimately the taste of that soup has lasted a life-time.
I make my version of that Cortina soup every winter as I reminisce about those snowed capped mountains and life-long friendships. The intense flavour from roasting the tomatoes and the sweetness from the basil combines perfectly.
I dare-say this version is much healthier and packed full of nutrients and as my husband will tell you, it’s an easy meal that's liquid and filling.
Roasting the tomatoes does take some time but the simplicity in making this soup is worth the end result, so much that you will never go back to eating tinned or powdered cup-o-soup. Family and friends will vote this as one of their all time favourites.
Ingredients 5 large vine ripened truss tomatoes
5 tablespoons virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon rosemary
1 teaspoon oregano
1 large handful basil leaves
¼ x teaspoon chilli flakes
Pinch of salt
Pinch of pepper
1 x 425g tinned tomatoes
2 x cups of vegetable stock
Only two key ingredients are required for this soup - tomatoes and basil
Pre-heat oven to 200 degrees.
Cut tomatoes into quarters.
Quarter the tomatoes
Shred ½ the basil leaves over the tomatoes.
Sprinkle some basil leaves over the quartered tomatoes this helps the freshness and flavour of the basil start to seep into the tomatoes
In a bowl, mix the olive oil, salt, pepper, oregano, rosemary, remaining basil and chilli flakes.
Combine oil, salt, pepper, oregano, rosemary and basil to make the marinade
Place the tomatoes into the oil mix and toss thoroughly.
Add the tomatoes to the marinade, toss ingredients until thoroughly coated
Spread the marinated tomatoes in a layer on a baking tray and roast for approximately 45 minutes.
Evenly line a baking tray with the marinaded tomatoes
In a saucepan, make 2 cups of vegetable stock.
Combine the roasted tomatoes and juice into the vegetable stock along with the can of tinned tomatoes. Bring to the boil and simmer for approximately 15 minutes.
Combine ingredients and bring to a boil
Reduce heat and simmer until some of the liquid reduces and you are left with thick tomato soup
Blend soup until smooth (there may be some lumps however the texture adds to the flavour).
Decorate with a dollop of low-fat ricotta and basil leaves, then serve with warm crusty bread or croutons.
Roasted Tomato & Basil Soup
To make the stock in this recipe, I used 2 cups of water mixed with 1 tablespoon of Vegeta (Gourmet Vegetable Stock)
I only use the best virgin olive oil possible to drizzle over the tomatoes. It helps to bring out the flavours when roasting.