If freaking out about the mid semester exams wasn’t bad enough for us students, there are also the dreaded sniffles and sneezes which emerge at this time of year. One of my favourite ways of feeling better is to grab a big pot and stir together a warming bowl of soup. Perfect for the autumn chills. This month I’ve got three easy-peasy soup recipes that will have you shouting dinner in no time. Inspired by the great work of Love Food Hate Waste I want to challenge you to use up those forgotten veggies in the bottom of your crisper and turn them into something special.
It’s usually a bit tricky to get juicy fresh tomatoes this time of year so if in doubt, definitely make use of the handy tins of crushed tomatoes, or even tomato passata. Passata is an italian cooking sauce made by pureeing blanched tomatoes. Look for an organic sauce and Australian garlic for the best results with this soup.
Prep Time 10 mins | Cooking Time 30-50 mins | Serves 4-6
- 1 pod Australian garlic
- 1tbsp olive oil
- 1 large brown onion, finely diced
- 500g ripe tomatoes (such as Roma etc.) or 600mL passata
- 500mL chilled chicken or vegetable stock
- 25 fresh basil leaves, finely chopped.
- 4 thyme sprigs, leaves removed
Roast the garlic by wrapping the whole pod in foil and baking in a 180ºC oven for 15-20 minutes until the cloves are tender. Allow to cool, then carefully squeeze the soft garlic out of the skins. Reserve. While the garlic cooks, slice the tomatoes and place them into baking dish. Drizzle with live oil and roast for 20-30 minutes. Allow to cool.
Heat the oil in a large saucepan and fry the onions over a medium heat till softened. Transfer the onions to a blender with the garlic, tomatoes or passata, and stock. Blend till smooth. Return to the saucepan with the basil and half the thyme leaves. Season and serve sprinkled with pepper and thyme.
Writer’s note: A version of this article was first published in Grapeshot Magazine Issue 3|Volume 6| March 2014: The Chase.