Use up a glut of home-grown tomatoes with James Martin’s thick and creamy soup primed with garlic and fresh basil.
2kg/4lb 4oz mixed ripe tomatoes, roughly chopped
3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
1 handful fresh basil leaves, plus extra to serve
1 tbsp tomato purée
4 tbsp olive oil, plus extra to serve
1 litre/1¾ pints hot vegetable stock
2-3 tbsp caster sugar, to taste
150ml/5fl oz double cream, plus extra to serve
1 ciabatta loaf, thickly sliced, to serve
Heat a large, heavy-based saucepan over a medium to high heat. When the pan is hot, add the tomatoes and fry for 4-5 minutes, or until they have started to break down.
Add the garlic, basil, tomato purée and two tablespoons of olive oil. Continue to cook for a further 1-2 minutes.
Pour in the vegetable stock, bring the mixture to the boil, then reduce the heat until the mixture is simmering. Simmer for 3-4 minutes.
Transfer the soup mixture to a food processor and blend to a purée.
Return the blended soup to the pan and season, to taste, with salt, freshly ground black pepper and sugar.
Pour in the cream and return the mixture to a simmer. Continue to simmer for a further 1-2 minutes.
Meanwhile, brush the ciabatta slices with the remaining two tablespoons of olive oil.
Heat a griddle pan until hot, add the ciabatta slices, in batches if necessary, and cook for 1-2 minutes on each side, or until golden brown griddle marks appear on both sides of the ciabatta.
To serve, ladle the soup into four serving bowls. Drizzle a swirl of double cream into each bowl, then a swirl of olive oil, to garnish. Sprinkle over a few basil leaves.
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