Today felt like autumn was well and truly on its way. Grey, dull and a bit chilly, and weather like that makes you want to curl up on the sofa under a blanket to binge watch a TV series! It also makes you want to eat warming and comforting food! I’ve just had six weeks off work and with my return imminent, I plan on eating a bit healthier and carb free in the evenings. After spending an afternoon cocooned on the sofa, I decided to make some soup for a cheap and easy dinner. The method is so simple, anyone can make it and it’s perfect for families who are on a budget or just want an easy dinner. It makes between 6-8 portions so there’s usually lots left to either take to lunch for work or freeze to have for another day and costs about £3.00 in total! You need: 1KG fresh tomatoes diced, 2 onions chopped, 3 stalks of celery diced, 2 carrots peeled and sliced, 3 cloves of garlic sliced, 1.5 litres chicken or vegetable stock, 1 tablespoon tomato purée, splash of red wine vinegar (optional)salt and pepper, basil finely chopped and a splash of cream. You can add fresh chilli too if you want a bit of kick but that’s according to taste! Method:
- Place the onion and garlic in a pan and sweat them off for 5 minutes.
- Add the carrot and celery. Cook together with the onion and garlic for about 10-15 minutes. If you’re using chilli, add it now along with some red wine vinegar (again, optional).
- Add the tomatoes and season to taste. If you’re using fresh basil, just cut up the stalks and put the leaves to one side. Add the stalks to the pan as they will give the soup a nice basil taste without turning it a horrible green colour when you blend it!
- After 5 minutes, add the stock and tomato purée and simmer for 25 minutes.
- Take off the heat and blend until smooth.
- Add a splash of cream and stir in the finely chopped basil – do this to taste. I wouldn’t recommend using loads as it will be overpowering.
- Serve with croutons or French stick.