Roast Tomato Soup with Basil and Balsamic

I know it is a strange time of year to be writing about Tomato Soup. Surely the time for this recipe is at the end of Summer when everyone has a glut of tomatoes, red and green, to us- up some how.

But it was half-term and I always struggle with suddenly having to produce a healthy, hearty lunch everyday for the kids. By day three the cupboards were bare, and that is when I resorted to this quick and easy tomato soup. Tomatoes are not really at their best in Winter, so roasting them really helps to intensify their flavour and release their natural sweetness. The balsamic vinegar added an extra hint of sweetness, so no need for added sugar, as in Heinz. The kids loved it. Only two more days to go!

Roast Tomato Soup with Basil and Balsamic

1 kg tomatoes

4 garlic cloves, peeled and whole

Extra virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon good balsamic vinegar

Handful of basil leaves

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees. Cut tomatoes into ¼ and season them well with salt and pepper. Toss with plenty of olive oil, the garlic cloves and the basil. Tip into a shallow baking dish and roast for about an hour. Stir from time to time. The longer the tomatoes cook down the more intense the flavour. Tip into a saucepan and add about ½ litre of water. Add the balsamic and puree with a hand blender until really smooth (most kids don’t like to see the tomato pips.) You can use a liquidiser or food processor instead. Taste and adjust seasoning. Serve hot.

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