The Hairy Bikers share their twist on a classic tomato soup, finished with rouille and cheesy croutons.
For the soup, heat the oil in a large saucepan and gently fry the onion and garlic for 5 minutes until they begin to soften. Stir in the tomatoes, then refill the can with water and pour it into the pan. Add the herbs, two teaspoons of the sugar, and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Bring to a gentle simmer and cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
After 15 minutes of cooking, remove from the heat and blend with a stick blender until smooth.
Stir the cream into the soup and season to taste with salt, freshly ground black pepper and sugar. Keep warm.
Meanwhile, for the rouille, grind the chillies to a coarse powder in a pestle and mortar. Add the salt, garlic and saffron and grind to a paste, then add the egg yolks and mix through. Transfer to a bowl and gradually whisk in the olive oil, a few drops at a time until the mixture resembles mayonnaise. Once half of the oil has been added, stir in the lemon juice, then continue to add the olive oil to form a thick sauce. Stir in the cayenne pepper.
For the croutons, preheat the grill.
Heat the oil and butter together in a frying pan (the oil stops the butter burning and the butter ensures the croutons become golden brown). Fry the bread for 1-2 minutes on each side, or until golden-brown. Place onto a baking tray, sprinkle with the grated Gruyère and season with freshly ground black pepper. Grill the croutons until the cheese is golden-brown and has melted.
To serve, ladle the soup into deep bowls, and place a crouton into the centre of each bowl of soup. Add a spoonful of rouille to the side of the soup, and sprinkle over some chopped parsley or basil, if using.
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