Mel and Mal's Tomato & Basil Soup

  • 15ml olive oil or similar low fat version
  • 1 large onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic, crushed
  • 1 red chilli, deseeded and chopped
  • 1 litre of hot chicken stock
  • 1.5kg fresh tomatoes, skins removed and chopped
  • (or 2 cans x 400g of Italian tomatoes, including all the juices)
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree
  • Handful of fresh torn basil leaves
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 2tsps balsamic vinegar
  • Salt and pepper to taste

This is a perfect starter, light, fresh and delicious. If you fancy a bit of extra texture in your soup, add a 400g can of chickpeas (washed and drained) and add in after you have zapped the main ingredients, cooking for around 10 minutes.

If it's the tomato season and they are cheap enough, then always use the fresh produce but if not use tinned - they still gives great taste and no messing around getting skins off!

Serves : 6        Prep/Cooking Time : 40 mins

Tip : To get the skins off your tomatoes, cut a cross on the top of each tomato and plunge into hot water. Leave for 1 minute, remove from the water and the skins will peel off beautifully.


Cook the Main Ingredients

In a large saucepan, heat up the olive oil, then on a low to medium heat, stir in the chopped onion and garlic and cook for 5 minutes until soft

Add the red chilli and cook for another minute then add tomatoes, the chicken stock and the puree and simmer for another 15 mins with the lid on

Add the Remaining Ingredients

Remove from the heat and zap with either a stick blender or put through a liquidiser or food processor until the soup is smooth.

Return to the heat (low) and add the basil leaves and oregano and cook for a further 2 minutes with the lid off this time

Then add the balsamic vinegar, stir and heat for a further minute then taste the soup and check for seasoning before serving

To Finish

Serve with crispy croutons or crusty bread.

MJ Harradine Ltd. Registered number 04633171
1 Yardley Way, Belper, Derbyshire DE56 0ES