Tomato Spiced Soup

Basil and tomatoes are a perfect flavour combination and the shallots give this soup a slight sweetness.

Serves: 4–5

Preparation: 35 minutes + cooking time 30 minutes

Plus: Freezing: recommended


  • 50g Butter or 2 tbsp Vegetable or Olive Oil
  • 6 Shallots, chopped
  • 1 Garlic Clove, crushed
  • 2 tbsp Plain Flour
  • 600ml Chicken Stock
  • 900g Beef Tomatoes, skinned and chopped roughly
  • 2 tbsp Tomato Purée
  • 3 tbsp chopped fresh Basil
  • Salt and freshly ground Black Pepper

To garnish

  • 4–5 slices French bread
  • Olive Oil
  • 4–5 tsp Pesto
  • tiny fresh Basil leaves


  1. Heat the butter or oil in a large lidded saucepan.
  2. Add the shallots and garlic and sweat for 3 minutes, covered, shaking the pan from time to time, until softened but not browned.
  3. Add the flour and cook for 1 minute, stirring all the time.
  4. Gradually add the stock and bring to the boil, stirring all the time until thickened.
  5. Stir in the tomatoes, tomato purée and basil, season well, cover and simmer for 30 minutes.
  6. Meanwhile, fry the slices of bread in a little olive oil until golden.
  7. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen towel.
  8. Keep warm.
  9. Remove the soup from the heat and leave to cool briefly.
  10. Blend until smooth and then reheat gently.
  11. Spread the bread slices with the pesto.
  12. Serve garnished with the pesto breads, basil leaves and a drizzle of olive oil.

This recipe is from Soups for all Seasons by Liz Herbert and published by Simon & Schuster 2008 priced £14.99 ISBN 978-1-84737-178-2

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