Some days my life revolves around food. I wake up excited about eating breakfast and spend the entire afternoon brainstorming ideas for dinner. And if I haven’t yet sound like a total loser, listen to this: I truly enjoy grocery shopping. Oh the possibilities! Those long aisles look so appealing to me. They’re like new lands I have yet to discover and explore. And the ending is always inevitably happy: no matter what happens you get to sit down with some delicious, fresh and homemade food, made out of love or frustration, either way it turns out good.
It’s a love story, isn’t it? Food brings people together, I will always recite those words, I will always proclaim them. Food makes me happy, damnit. And it’s one of my favourite things about winter.
Winter food is hearty and it’s basically stews, soups, carbs, protein, you know, hibernation food. On a recent trip to Poland I found out I love polish food, and why did I know so little about it? I thought it was mostly composed of cabbage dishes? Well, I was wrong, but that’s subject for another post, because this tangent has gone far too long already.
Taking about irrelevant tangents, it is one of my pet peeves when I find a gorgeous recipe on a blog that I can’t wait to read but then it takes me ages to scroll through endless pictures, videos, words, and ads until I finally meet the one thing I was actually looking for: the damn recipe. So I’ll stop here and just quickly introduce this amazing tomato soup you simply have to try:
It’s so easy to make and I’m sure you don’t even need a recipe for it, so I’m just going to focus on a few points: I love that this soup is not just tomatoes, but it’s about any vegetables you think will be a good match to its flavour. Adding carrots make it feel more hearty and filling, but it’s also a great flavour boost.
Roasting your tomatoes is one of the best ways to start a flavourful dinner, and roasting the garlic is life changing. You’re left with intense, but soft flavours – does that even make sense? – and its the perfect base for any soup. This one tastes so fresh. For the grilled cheese I just went with mozzarella cheese and a lot of butter on my toast. I love mozzarella cheese, and don’t need much else to be honest.
Drizzling olive oil on top right before serving takes the soup to a whole new level, so do not skip this step, trust me. And I love adding spring onions to anything, so I highly recommend that as well. They not only add some freshness, but also adds a pop colour that is the cherry on the cake – or should I say…the spring onion on the soup? Oh boy, help me…
I was inspired by Donal Skehan, my favourite Irish chef, and you can find the original here.
500 g tomatoes, sliced in half
1 whole bulb of garlic, top sliced off
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp olive oil
4 large sprigs of thyme, leaves picked off
1 large onion, finely sliced
2 stalks of celery, finely chopped
2 carrots, finely chopped
2 tbsp tomato purée
1 litres vegetable stock
Extra virgin olive oil, to serve
- Preheat the oven to 200C. Lay the tomatoes cut-side up in a large roasting tin and place the garlic bulbs in with them. Drizzle with the balsamic vinegar and 1 tablespoon olive oil. Sprinkle over the thyme leaves and season with sea salt and ground black pepper.
- Place in the oven and roast for 45 minutes or until the tomatoes have shrunk and are slightly caramelised on the outside and the garlic is soft and mushy. Remove from the oven and set aside while you prepare the base of the soup.
- Meanwhile, place a large cooking pot over a high heat and add the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add the onion, celery and carrot and fry for 1 minute, stirring every now and then. Reduce the heat to medium and cook for 6 minutes until tender. Add the tomato purée and stock and bring to a steady simmer.
- Squeeze the cloves from the roasted garlic bulb and add them to the soup, along with the roasted tomatoes and their juices. Simmer for 25 minutes until the carrot is completely tender. Season to taste with sea salt and ground black pepper. Using a hand blender or in a food processor, blitz the soup until completely smooth.
- Drizzle a little extra-virgin olive oil on the top.