Hello! It’s been a long time, hasn’t it? Sorry about that. I got back from overseas, and dove straight into election mode, which meant a heap of work on my politics blog, and then I slept for several days, and then I went back to work, and then I got sort of low level sick for about a week and a half and then horrible things happened around the world and I got depressed about it, and then I had fiction writing to do, and then it was suddenly August. I shall try not to go on such a prolonged hiatus again, but I make no promises – politics happens, work never stops happening, and I’m really enjoying writing fiction on my Stories Under Paris site at the moment, more than I’ve enjoyed writing anything for years, so a lot of my energy will be focused there. I’m trying to reduce my hours at work, which should help a little, and I want to use some of the time I recapture to work on a cookbook, but I have to do things that aren’t writing sometimes, too, especially as my wrist is still not great…
Anyway, I’ve been doing a lot of very easy cooking recently, and I’ve made this soup a couple of times (without once managing to photograph it, alas), and really like it. I’m not going to claim that it is a work of genius, and it does rely rather on things from the pantry, but it’s a tasty soup for a winter night, especially when served with a toasted jarlsberg cheese sandwich. I like the combination of tomato flavours from passata, chopped tomatoes and freshly roasted ones – I think you get an interesting balance of tomatoishness from the different treatments the tomatoes have received. (But mostly I like it because it feels like a healthier version of my childhood comfort food of Campbells Tomato Soup from a tin…)
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1 kg roma tomatoes
1 red onion
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp balsamic vinegarolive oil, salt and pepper for roasting
1 tin (400g) chopped tomatoes
1 bottle (500-700ml) passata
Now what will you do with it?
Pre-heat the oven to 200°C.
Halve your roma tomatoes lengthwise, and put them in a roasting tin. Peel your onion, and cut it into six or eight wedges. Add to the roasting tin with the sugar, vinegar, oil salt and pepper. Toss them around a bit.
Roast for about half an hour, or until the tomatoes are soft and a bit caramelised, and there are lots of juices in the tin.
Pour the tomatoes and their juices into a blender, with the tinned tomatoes and passata, and blend til smooth.
Re-heat until boiling, and serve.
This recipe is vegan and gluten free, and probably fairly low GI, because there just isn’t a lot of carbohydrate to be found here. Tomatoes are terrible for fructose, so you are out of luck there.
You can do lots of things with this recipe. Serving it with a bit of pesto swirled through is nice – though if you use too much pesto, it can get quite thick and sort of turn into tomato pasta sauce (especially if, like me, you tend to add a head of broccoli to your pesto). You could blend in a tin of chickpeas or cannelini beans for extra protein, or a handful of soaked cashews for protein *and* creaminess. You could add chilli or basil or oregano or other herbs or spices. Smoked paprika could be good.
(But if you are anything like me, this is basically your easy vegetable excuse to have a toasted cheese sandwich for dinner, and what goes in the soup is only peripherally important.)