roasted tomato soup

Serves 6 as a main course, 8 as a starter

  • 1kg ripe tomatoes
  • 2 roughly chopped fennel bulbs (about 400g)
  • 2 large quartered onions
  • 3 tbsp cold-pressed rapeseed oil
  • 3 crushed garlic cloves
  • 8-10 roughly chopped sun-dried tomatoes, or 12-15 sun-blushed tomatoes in oil (plus extra to garnish)
  • ½ small deseeded and chopped red chilli, or 1 crumbled dried chilli
  • 30g bunch of fresh coriander
  • 300ml tomato juice, or juice of about 300g fresh tomatoes
  • 2 x 400ml tins of coconut milk
  • 30g bunch of fresh dill
  • 4 tbsp Thai fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp tamari soy sauce
  • Finely grated zest and juice of 2 limes
  • A few strips of fresh dry-fried coconut to serve

Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4.

Coarsely chop the tomatoes – but don't skin them as the skin is highly nutritious.

Place on a baking sheet with fennel and onion. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons of rapeseed oil, and season with salt and black pepper. Roast for 30-40 minutes until slightly browning at the edges.

Meanwhile, heat the remaining rapeseed oil in a large saucepan and gently cook the garlic, sun-dried tomatoes, ginger and chilli for 3-4 minutes.

Strip the leaves from the coriander and chop the stalks as well as the root if you have it. The root has the most flavour, so if you grown your own coriander, use it.

Put the leaves to one side, but add the stalks and root to the garlic pan.

Add the tomato juice and coconut milk to the saucepan, and cook for a few more minutes.

Remove from the heat, cover and leave for 10 minutes to allow the flavours to infuse.

Add the roasted tomatoes, fennel and onions to the soup, and then the dill, fish sauce, tamari soy sauce, lime zest and juice and then some seasoning. Cover and simmer for a further 10 minutes.

Add the coriander leaves (reserve a handful to decorate the soup at the end) and blend in a food processor until smooth. You want to reduce all the tomato skins right down, so this will take a minute or two.

Serve with sliced sun-dried tomatoes on top and/or coriander. Sometimes I garnish the soup with toasted strips of fresh coconut instead of the coriander.

I like this best warm, but you can also serve cold. It is good served with seeded spelt bread.

This recipe features Sarah Raven's Garden Cookbook and Complete Christmas.