Who doesn’t love Heinz Tomato Soup with buttered bread? I remember having it for lunch on those cold lazy days and there was always something so delightful about it. Unfortunately, I can’t seem to get hold of this wonder here in Italy and no doubt if I do find it, I will need to sell my soul to pay for it. This pushed me to try and create a soup that would give me a similar sensation and also make it a little more accessible.
Yes, this soup takes a little more dedication that simply heating the contents of a tin in a saucepan for a few minutes, but it is worth it I swear! I just went to my local supermarket and picked a variation of their tomatoes for the recipe including cherry and plum tomatoes. Head to your local grocer and see what they have available and mix it up! The red onion and pepper add an element of sweetness to the soup which means you don’t need to add sugar – but again, tomatoes here in Italy are generally sweeter than back in the UK, so always taste your soup and if you feel it’s too bitter, just add a tiny bit of sugar to balance it out. Roasting the garlic also takes the edge off and almost caramelises it which is another delicious layer of flavour added to your soup – just remember to keep them in their skin so they don’t burn!
I recommend going light on the seasoning during the roasting process and adjusting this only towards the end as the flavours will continue to develop as the tomatoes cook and you don’t want a salty soup!
Serves: 3-4 people
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 25 minutes
950g Mixed red tomatoes, halved
1/2 Red onion, roughly chopped
1/2 Red pepper, deseeded & roughly chopped
3 Garlic cloves, slightly crushed keeping skin on
400ml Vegetable stock
10 Fresh Basil leaves
1 Tbsp Balsamic vinegar
2 Tbsp Olive oil
1 Tbsp Salt
1 1/2 Tsp Pepper
To serve: Fresh bread or Croutons
Preheat the oven to 200°C / 180°C Fan. Place the tomatoes cut side down in a large roasting tin, avoid overlapping.
Add peppers, onion and garlic cloves around the tomatoes and avoid covering if possible. Drizzle olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
Roast for around 45 minutes and then increase the heat the 220°C / 200°C Fan for a further 15 minutes.
Carefully pour all the vegetables into a saucepan removing the skin from the garlic – I keep all 3 cloves in the soup but if you prefer it a little less pungent then start with 1 and add more if needed.
Pour in the vegetable stock and balsamic vinegar, bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer and after 5 minutes add basil. Simmer for another 10 minutes stirring occasionally.
Blend using either a stick blender or a normal blender until you get a creamy soup. If you prefer yours thinner, add more vegetable stock. Check the seasoning and adjust accordingly.
Serve with croutons or fresh crusty bread.
This soup is a great make ahead – leave to cool completely and store in an air tight container, it will keep well for a couple days and you can easily freeze it!