January was always designated ‘Soups & Salads’ month, although after a while this strict regime can be difficult to stick to. However, after arriving home with a hoarse voice and stuffy nose, nothing but the perfect soup would do – and this recipe really makes the soup to beat all soups! Rich, creamy and with loads more depth than tinned soup, this is a classic.
Top tip: If you’re suffering a cold, then get someone else to check your seasoning!
Tomatoes (on the vine) – 6
Trimmed Leeks – 2
Plum Tomatoes – 1 tin
Garlic Paste – 1 tbsp
Tomato Pureé – 1 tbsp
Basil Leaves – 4 (large)
Double Cream – 100mls
Sugar – 1 tsp
Chicken/Vegetable Stock – 400mls
Butter – 25g
Salt & Pepper – to season
1. First prepare your vegetables. Slice the leeks, discarding the tough ends. Dice the tomatoes and slice up the tinned plum tomatoes (this can be done in the tin).
2. In a large non-stick pan or wok, melt the butter on a low heat. Add the sliced leeks and garlic paste and heat through for 3-4 minutes to soften.
3. Add the diced tomatoes and heat for a further 2 minutes, mixing well.
4. Add the tinned plum tomatoes and their juices, and the tomato pureé.
5. Next, pour in the stock, sugar and the whole basil leaves, and leave to simmer for 10 minutes.
6. Transfer your soup to food processor, and liquify until smooth. Transfer back to your pan and add the cream and season well with salt & pepper. You can alter the consistency by adding more boiled water if necessary.
7. Garnish with a swirl of cream, ground black pepper and a sprig of basil.
Serve piping hot with some fresh baked Ciabatta.