Anyway, yesterday was deemed tomato soup day and we agreed that this was the best tomato soup I have ever made. It tasted like cream of tomato soup, but no butter or cream had been added. I can’t really explain where that creaminess came from, other than maybe the roasted garlic, but it was delicious. Roasting the tomatoes and the garlic first makes a big difference to the flavour, so don’t leave this stage out.
500g fresh tomatoes
4 cloves garlic unpeeled
2-3 rashers of bacon
1 small onion or a couple of shallots
550ml (1 pint) vegetable stock
Put the whole tomatoes and the unpeeled cloves of garlic onto a baking sheet and drizzle with a good glug of olive oil and place in a preheated oven at 200°c (gas mark 6) or the roasting oven of the Aga for about 20 minutes until nicely roasted and starting to brown a little around the edges.
In the meantime, slice the onion and dice the bacon and fry in a large pan with a little olive oil over a medium heat until the onion is translucent and the bacon is cooked.
Add the roasted tomatoes, with all the lovely juices, to the bacon and onion and squeeze the roasted garlic out of its skin and add to the tomatoey mixture. Add the vegetable stock and simmer for about 20 minutes.
Take the soup off the heat and whizz with a hand-held blender or in a food processor or blender until smooth.
Place back on the heat to warm through and serve in warmed bowls, with lots of bread for dunking.