This is a thick tomato soup made with plum tomatoes and chopped basil leaves to give it an Italian flavour. The bowls of soup are sprinkled with mozzarella cheese and garnished with extra basil leaves. Just serve with lovely, fresh crusty bread.
Mediterranean Tomato Soup
- Preparation time: 30 minutes
- Cooking time: 35 minutes
- 450 g (1 lb) plum tomatoes (6–8)
- 1 yellow onion, sliced
- 1 carrot, sliced
- strip of lemon rind
- 1 bay leaf
- salt and ground black pepper
- 1 tbsp fresh basil leaves, chopped, plus extra for garnishing
- 600 ml (20 fl oz) good vegetable or chicken stock (2½ cups)
- 28 g (1 oz) butter (2 tbsp, or ¼ stick)
- 28 g (1 oz) flour (1 tbsp)
- 85 g (3 oz) mozzarella cheese, grated/shredded (¾ cup)
- fresh crusty bread
- a blender or liquidiser
- Cut the tomatoes in half and, using a teaspoon, scoop out the seeds.
- Put the tomatoes, onion and carrot into a large pan along with the lemon rind, bay leaf, seasoning, and basil.
- Pour in the stock and bring to the boil. Then reduce the heat, cover the pan, and let it simmer for 30 minutes.
- Leave to cool for 5 minutes and then liquidise.
- In a clean pan, melt the butter and then stir in the flour. Let it cook over a low heat for 2 minutes.
- Now, slowly, pour in the liquidised mixture, stirring constantly until blended. Bring to the boil then reduce the heat and let it simmer for a further 2 minutes.
- Divide between four soup bowls and sprinkle the cheese in the centre of the soup. Serve immediately garnished with the reserved basil leaves and crusty bread.
- To make it easier to grate/shred mozzarella cheese, pop it in the freezer for 30 minutes first.