This much-loved classic is the perfect thing to make with an abundance of ripe tomatoes. You can also add the green stalks to cook with the vegetables for an intense tomato flavour but remember to remove them before blending
- 40g (1 1/2oz) butter
- 1 large onion, peeled and chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 2tbsp Madeira
- small bunch basil, stalks reserved and chopped
- 1.8kg (4lb) mixed, ripe tomatoes, roughly chopped
- 300ml (1/2pt) vegetable stock
- 1tsp caster sugar
- 1tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
- 100ml (3fl oz) double cream
for the basil oil
- small bunch basil, leaves picked
- 100ml olive oil
In a large pan melt the butter and gently fry the onion over a low medium heat until beginning to soften then add the garlic for another minute.
Pour in the Madiera and allow to reduce for 1 minute, then add the basil stalks along with the tomatoes. Cover and turn the heat up slightly cooking for 15 minutes until the tomatoes have begun to break down and are releasing their juices.
Add the stock, bring to the boil and then simmer uncovered for 10 minutes. Allow to cool slightly then blend the soup until smooth. Return to the pan, add the sugar, salt and pepper, then stir through the cream and reheat gently without boiling.
To make the basil oil, whizz the basil leaves and oil in a food processor until smooth. Pour the basil oil into a small pan and simmer for 5 minutes then drizzle over the tomato soup and serve with crusty bread or toasted ciabatta.