- 5 or 6 large tomatoes (just large, not beef).
- 1 medium to large carrot peeled and chopped (you can add more but this can make it quite sweet so adjust the size of the carrot to your taste).
- ½ to 1 sweet red pointed pepper deseeded and chopped
- 1-2 sticks of celery chopped
- 1 medium potato (to thicken)
- 1 large or 2 small onion
- 1 tblsp olive or rapeseed oil
- 1-2 tomato stock cubes in about 1½ litres boiling water
- A good dollop of tomato paste
- Fresh basil leaves (dried will do – but you will need less) Optional
- Salt and pepper to taste
Remove the skins of the tomatoes by placing in a bowl of boiling water until completely covered for about 2 minutes and then when slit with a sharp knife should peel off easily. Then chop.
Cook the onion and celery in a large pan in the oil until softened and translucent.
Add the peppers and cook a further 2 minutes.
Add the potato and carrot and cook for a few minutes more.
Dissolve the stock cube(s) in the boiling water, add the tomato paste and stir well then add to the pan. Bring to the boil, lower the heat and simmer for about 30 mins stirring occasionally. Throw in a handful of the chopped fresh basil leaves near the end of cooking and add salt and pepper to taste. You can adjust the consistency of the soup at this stage by adding more water if needed.
When all the veg are soft remove from the heat and blend with a blender (I use a stick blender in the pan). I often don’t blend it all completely smooth but leave some chunks of carrot and potato as desired.
Decorate with a sprinkle of parmesan cheese or basil leaves.