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.