a guesthouse life...
Written by Nelleke Elston.
I am huddled in front of the fireplace on a very cold and rainy June evening and the sound of the crackling fire and the hum of my laptop are the only sounds in the house. The rain has finally stopped. This is the perfect time for a quick blog post before the busy week starts, I think. And what better way to bring a little colour and cheer into this grey day than write about tomato soup and share these beautiful pictures with you…
I never quite got tomato soup until I started roasting the tomato’s, and my life was changed really. Now I’m hooked. In my catering company the napolitana sauce is one of the basic sauces we use almost daily, so there’s nothing as easy as diluting that intense deep red sauce into the quickest and cheekiest dinner for my husband and I, served with home-made Ciabatta croutons, what could be better?
I’m quite passionate when it comes to soups and as I’ve mentioned in one of my previous posts, the fact that soup makes the cut as a main-meal in my books, was something my husband had to grow use to. Soups are one of those dishes you just need to try, throw yourself into it with abandon and gain the confidence you need to make them following simply your nose and your taste buds. Once you’re there, the options are endless! When I think of soups, I think of a dear friend of mine who would ask me the same question over and over, “how much stock or water do I add?”. The answer was always the same,”…I don’t know, about 1 liter, you need to taste it and see”. It comes down to feel and getting the seasoning and thickness just right, so there is a little skill in making a good soup, I must admit.
Roast Tomato Soup
(Makes 8-10 portions)
1 onions, roughly chopped
2 tins whole, peeled tomatoes
2 garlic cloves, sliced
2 tbsp tomato paste
4-6 whole organic tomato’s
roasted vine tomato’s for garnish (optional)
2 tbsp olive oil
1-2 tsp brown sugar
salt and pepper to taste
fresh basil/parsley/sage to serve
1 liter vegetable stock
1/4 cup good quality olive oil (for croutons)
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
Cut all the tomatoes in quarters, place them in a roasting tray and drizzle them sparingly with olive oil.
Season with salt and black pepper.
Roast in the oven for about 20 minutes at 180 degrees Celsius.
In a large pot, slowly saute the onions and the garlic until soft and translucent.
Add the soft, roasted tomatoes and the tinned tomatoes.
Add about 750ml of vegetable stock to the pot and bring to the boil. Turn the neat down and simmer for 20 minutes.
Blend the soup with hand held blender until smooth and add the sugar.
Taste the soup and dilute with the remaining stock, if needed. Adjust the seasoning.
To make the croutons: Tear the bread into chunky, bite-sized pieces. Drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and pepper and roast until they are golden brown and crispy.
Serve this soup with croutons, fresh herbs and a drizzle of good quality olive oil.
About the blog
This is the story of our house, lovingly restored and shared with guests and family since 1995.