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This is another recipe that calls for your personal flair. Add as much salt and sugar as you like and you can obviously add more chili or garlic. It also depends on the tomato - some have more flavour than others, so do taste before you add the stock and cream, and adjust to your liking, you don't want to lose that deep roasted flavour.

Slow-roasted Tomato Soup

Ingredients


  • 1.5 kg ripe plum tomatoes
  • 4 - 6 large garlic cloves, left whole
  • 2 large onions, cut into medium wedges
  • some thyme sprigs (about 6 large)
  • 5 - 10 ml dried chili flakes (or to taste)
  • salt, freshly-milled black pepper and sugar
  • olive oil
  • 45 ml tomato paste
  • 250 - 500 ml chicken or vegetable stock (or to taste)
  • 65 ml melted butter (optional)
  • 65 ml flour (optional)
  • 125 - 250 ml cream (optional or to taste)
  • 45 ml finely chopped parsley
  • 65 ml chopped basil
  • To serve: croutons, basil leaves and olive oil



Chef's hint: You can use (say) 800 g tomatoes and add (say) three large red peppers for a lovely sweet pepper flavour. Rib, seed and cut them in coarse strips before roasting them with the tomatoes and onions.

Method


Place the tomatoes, garlic, onions and thyme sprigs in a large baking dish, sprinkle with the chili flakes and season to taste (rather liberally than lightly) with salt, pepper and sugar. Drizzle with oil and roast (undisturbed) for 60 minutes or longer at 190 C or until lightly browned and sticky from being caramelized by the heat. Remove from oven, fish out the thyme stalks and allow to cool down a bit.

Process the tomatoes with the onion and garlic and pan juices in a processor or with a stick blender in a large bowl until smooth. If you like, you can now push the puree through a sieve.

Place the puree into a saucepan, add the tomato paste and stir in as much stock as you like. Be careful, you do not want to lose the intensity of the roast tomato flavour by thinning it down too much, but on the other hand, you do not want a soup so thick that a spoon stands up in it! At this stage, if you want, you can bind everything together by making a paste (roux) of the melted butter and flour and stirring nuggets of it into the soup until it is to your liking.

Once you are happy with the consistency, stir in the cream (if using) and herbs. Taste and then add more seasoning if you like: salt, pepper and sugar even a fresh addition of chopped herbs, crushed garlic and chili flakes.

Serve topped with croutons, basil leaves and a drizzle of olive oil.

Serves 6