Spicy Tomato Soup

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Let me start off by saying I’m not really a fan of tomato soup per sé. That may seem a little contradictory given the nature of this recipe, but this soup is far from the thick gloop you get from Heinz and co. It’s light, it’s summery, it sizzles, it puts to shame the tasteless carbon-copy sludge you’ll find in a can. Sure chopping everything up takes a while but this is really easy (cook, add, stir, cook, add, stir, eat) makes a lot and you can freeze whatever you don’t use straight away so in my mind the extra effort is worth it.

P.S. If anyone can think of a snappier/sexier title do let me know!

P.P.S. This is absolutely delicious stone-cold straight from the fridge. Just what you need on the upteenth grey, miserable Welsh day in a row…

Ingredients

1 kilo tomatoes, depipped & roughly chopped
50g butter
3 onions, diced
3 cooked beetroot, roughly chopped
3 sticks celery, chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
3 small red chillis, finely chopped
1 tin chopped tomatoes
1 litre vegetable stock
4 tsp cumin, ground or crushed seeds
2 tsp coriander
2 bay leaves
2 sprigs fresh rosemary, chopped
glug balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper

Method

Melt 50g butter in a deep pan. Add and sweat the onions, celery and garlic for 5 minutes over a low-medium heat, stirring occasionally (that seems to be my favourite phrase) before slugging in a glug of balsamic and continuing to cook for a further 5 minutes. Add the chopped tomatoes, chillis, beetroot, coriander and cumin, stir and cook for a further 10 minutes. Add the vegetable stock, tinned tomatoes, bay leaves and rosemary. Get the mixture to a temperature where it bubbles nicely without spitting molten liquid all over the place and cook for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally (see!).

When the soup is reduced a bit, remove the bay leaves and shuszh up with a hand-shuszher (hand-blender to you). I quite like my soup to have a bit of texture so I didn’t go overboard trying to smooth it out completely. I didn’t sieve it either, hence why I removed the tomato pips at the start. Just seemed like extra stuff to clean up later to me…

Basically reduce to a thickness of your choosing. I left mine at the thinner end of the spectrum but you could continue to boil away for as long as you so wish. Season with salt and pepper and serve ideally with some fresh-baked bread. Not that I did, but hey, I would have if I wasn’t so lazy busy making soup.

J

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