Whenever I make soup I promise myself I’ll make soup more often. It’s tasty as can be, easy as pie and you feel you’re doing the right thing for your body. Some people have soup snobbery and don’t consider it a proper meal; this repast is the perfect repost to those doubters. It is bursting with sunny Mediterranean flavours and as filling as any ‘proper’ meal.
Ingredients for 4
Vine tomatoes – 1.5kg/3lbs
Extra virgin olive oil – 3tbls
Extra virgin olive oil with garlic – ½ cup/120ml
Crusty loaf – 300g/10.6oz cut up into cubes
Parmesan cheese – 2 tbls grated
Garlic – 3 cloves finely chopped
Tomato paste – 1 tbls
Arugula/Rocket – 40g/1.4oz
Lemon juice – 2 teaspoons, freshly squeezed
Preheat the grill/broiler. On a baking tray drizzle a tablespoon of the oil over the tomatoes, season with salt and pepper and place under the broiler/grill. Once the skins have softened and blistered, but before they are cooked through take them out, and peel, seed and chop them. Do this over a sieve with a bowl underneath to catch the juices.
Preheat the oven to 400oF/200oC. In a bowl mix together the cubed bread, 2 tablespoons/30ml of garlic oil, and the parmesan. Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle this onto a baking tray and bake for about 15 minutes. You want them to be crunchy and light brown.
While the croutons are baking, heat the rest of the plain oil in a pan and fry the chopped garlic until golden. Then add the tomato juice and tomato paste and simmer until the sauce is thick. Then add the tomato pulp, season with salt and lots of freshly ground pepper, and thicken up. Once it’s a nice soupy consistency, add ¼ cup/60ml of garlic olive oil and let cool.
Once the croutons are done, chuck half of them into a bowl and mix in the arugula/rocket, the lemon juice, 2 tablespoons/45ml of garlic oil and season. Mix the rest of the croutons in with the tomatoes. Serve out the soup and garnish with the arugula/crouton mixture.