Chilled Tomato and Basil Soup

Ingredients

  • 1.15 kg/ lb plum tomatoes
  • oil
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • salt and pepper
  • 150 ml/ ¼ pt chicken or vegetable stock
  • 150 ml/ ¼ pt double cream
  • 2 tbsp tomato ketchup
  • 4 slices of white bread
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 20 basil leaves
  • extra-virgin olive oil, to serve

Method

Allow the tomatoes to ripen for 4–5 days uncovered in a single layer on a tray in a warm room.

Then put them in a bowl, pour boiling water over them and leave for 30 seconds. Refresh in cold water and skin.

Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/ gas 6. Cut 450 g/ 1 lb of the tomatoes, in half and put on an oiled baking sheet. Sprinkle with the sugar and 1 teaspoon of salt and bake for 30 minutes.

Put the baked tomatoes in a blender or food processor with the remaining tomatoes and the stock. Blitz to a purée and push through a sieve into a bowl.

Stir in the cream and ketchup, then taste and season. Cling-wrap the bowl and refrigerate overnight.

Just before serving, cut the slices of white bread into 2-cm / ¾-inch cubes. Peel, smash and chop the garlic cloves and put them into a bowl with the olive oil and a little salt and pepper. Turn the bread cubes in this, then sauté in a hot non-stick frying pan until crisp.

Shred the basil leaves and stir half into the soup. Ladle it into bowls, scatter a few croutons on top of each with the remaining basil. Finish by drizzling some extra-virgin olive oil on the top.

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