Tomato and Basil Soup

I know it doesn’t sound very sophisticated to use tinned tomatoes, but I’ve yet to find anyone in Darlington who has a glut of tomatoes just waiting to be roasted and zapped into a soup.  As long as you have fresh basil, it’s posh enough for a Tuesday and very tasty.

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 onions, chopped

1 garlic clove, crushed and chopped

1 big potato and 2 carrots (or empty out your vegetable drawer, if you have sweet potatoes and celery lurking in there too), roughly diced

2 pints vegetable stock (preferably made with Marigold stock powder)

2 x 400g tins chopped tomatoes

2 bay leaves

salt and pepper

1 teaspoon dried basil and fresh basil leaves

In a large pan, gently fry the onion, garlic, potato and carrot in the oil.  Keep stirring.  A little salt in this stops it from sticking.

After about 5 minutes, add the stock, tomatoes, bay leaves, dried basil and some pepper.

Put the lid on, bring to the boil, and then simmer gently for about 20 – 30 minutes.

Take out your bay leaves before popping in a handful of fresh basil leaves, then carefully whizz up with a hand blender.  Make sure you’ve taken off your white work shirt.  Safer, of course, to let it cool a bit first before blending and then reheat afterwards.

Taste it.  If you’re not impressed, add half a teaspoon of sugar or more salt.

Serve with either a couple of drops of balsamic vinegar or a trickle of double cream and a few more basil leaves.

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