My mother in law kindly shares home grown fruits and vegetables with me when she has a surplus. I treasure these gifts whenever they appear and try to utilise this special produce in a recipe I haven’t tried before. The couple of tomato plants I grew last summer had a very short season as they were pulled up before we went on holiday so I was delighted to receive an assortment of standard and heirloom tomatoes from her recently.
An idea sprang to mind straight away – roasted tomato soup. As soon as the weather begins to cool down I always crave warm bowls of soup and aim to have a batch on hand for the days when there are no leftovers for lunches. I’ve previously made very tasty roasted tomato pasta sauces with home grown tomatoes and have wanted to try roasted tomatoes in a soup ever since.
I don't feel the need to seek out a recipe if I have a firm idea in mind. In these instances I trust my instincts and tweak the ingredient amounts (when necessary) after taste testing throughout the cooking process. This soup was kept very simple as I wanted the flavour of the tomatoes to shine, lentils were added for some protein as well as thickening the soup. After indecision about which type of stock power to include, I forgot to use any and simply seasoned the soup with sea salt after blending it.
Roasted tomato and basil soup
1 kg tomatoes
3 – 4 tablespoons olive oil
Sea salt and black pepper
1 medium onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium carrot, diced
1/3 cup red lentils
3 cups water
1 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
30 basil leaves, chopped
Preheat oven to 220C. Cut tomatoes in half and place cut side up on a roasting tray. Drizzle with 2-3 tablespoons olive oil and sprinkle with a few pinches of salt and some freshly ground black pepper. Bake for 20-25 minutes until the tomatoes are very soft and juicy.
Meanwhile, heat the remaining tablespoon of olive oil in a stockpot and sauté the onion, garlic and carrots over medium heat until softened, about 10 minutes. Add the lentils and water and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes.
When the tomatoes have finished roasting, add them to the stockpot along with all of the juices from the roasting tray.
Puree the soup with an immersion blender or in batches using a blender. Return the blended soup to the pot, season with sea salt to taste and stir through most of the chopped basil leaves. Allow to reheat, then serve garnished with additional chopped basil and freshly cracked black pepper.