|6 medium ripe tomatoes - approximately 700g / 1½lb|
|1 medium potato|
|1 medium onion|
|1 handful of fresh basil leaves|
|1 garlic clove|
|2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil|
|1 heaped teaspoon of tomato concentrate|
|2 dashes of Worcestershire Sauce (Lea and Perrins)|
|Salt and pepper to taste|
The roasting process concentrates the tomato flavour retaining the natural sweetness of fresh tomatoes. Although the roasting takes around an hour you can use this time to prepare the remaining ingredients and relax in between. The tomato soup can be prepared in advance and reheated, but reheat slowly and don't let the soup boil which would spoil the taste.
Star Anise can also be used to flavour tomato soup. We tried the soup with and without Star Anise and we felt on balance that it was better without. Instructions for using it are included in the step by step instructions below.
First, peel the tomatoes. Do this by making a small cut in the skin then plunging the tomatoes in boiling water for 1 minute.
Run cold water over the tomatoes and the skins can then easily be peeled off. Cut the peeled tomatoes in half with a sharp knife, avoid squashing them. Click the picture on the right to enlarge it.
Peel and finely chop the garlic (enlarge the picture above to see the chopped garlic). Place the halved tomatoes on the baking tray, cut side upwards. Sprinkle the garlic over the tomatoes and spread the basil leaves over the top.
Sprinkle two tablespoons of olive oil over the basil and tomatoes. Place the baking tray in the middle of the pre-heated oven and leave it there for an hour.
20 minutes before the tomatoes are roasted, peel the potato, chop it into four and place it in a pan with 470 ml (1 pint) cold water. Put the pan of potatoes on the hot plate and let them gently boil. Add 6 whole seeds of Star Anise here if you want.
Use the food blender to puree the soup to a roughish texture.
Put the blended soup back in the pan used for the potatoes and gently reheat for 5 minutes stirring every minute or so. Don't let the soup boil.
Taste the soup and add any more salt pepper according to taste. Serve in warm soup bowls and garnish with a couple of parsley sprigs or basil sprigs if any is left.