I have been having a soup frenzy since being back in the UK, it's something about the delicious crisp weather we've been having that makes me want to curl up on the sofa with something hot, hearty and comforting. This recipe is inspired by an Ainsley Harriott number, with extra chillies for a bit of a kick.
8 vine ripened tomatoes, cut into halves
1 red onion, cut into quarters
1 head of garlic, cut in half across the middle (it's important to cut across the cloves to make them easy to squeeze out of their skins later on)
A few sprigs of thyme
A pinch of dried chilli flakes
Olive oil for drizzling
Maldon sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 litre vegetable stock
1 tin of tomatoes
150ml creme fraiche
Preheat the oven to 200C/ Gas Mark 6
Fill an oven-proof saucepan with the tomatoes, onion, garlic and thyme all covered with a generous drizzle of olive oil and a good pinch of sea salt, chilli flakes and pepper. I find this easier than a roasting tin when it comes to whiz the tomatoes with the blender later. Roast the tomato mix for half an hour or so until the tomatoes are nice and soft. Don't worry if they blacken slightly.
Fish out the onions and garlic into a bowl. Pour the stock over the tomatoes and put them back into the oven for ten more minutes.
Whilst the tomatoes are continuing to cook, pop the now gorgeously sweet and golden garlic cloves and onion quarters out of their skins into the bowl of a food processor and whiz to a sticky paste (I used the slicer attachment to my Panasonic stick blender - a bargain at 20 quid from Tesco!).
Once the tomatoes are done, take them out of the oven. Fish out the thyme and throw it away. Add the onion/garlic mix and the tinned tomatoes to the roasted tomatoes/stock mix and whiz with a stick blender to a smooth soup. Reheat on the stove until piping hot.
Finally, stir in the creme fraiche and enjoy!