Having a home and a hot meal to come back to every evening is something I often take for granted. In Birmingham, homelessness is a growing problem, as we’ve seen in the news over winter. It’s even more poignant for me that many of our city’s homeless are young people, just at the start of their lives.
So how is Tomato and Basil soup going to help? Local charity St Basil’s are hosting Tomato and St Basil’s Soup Week from the 12th – 19th March, where they’re asking local restaurants, cafes, canteens and even individuals, to make a batch of Tomato and Basil soup to sell, and donate the proceeds to the charity to help fund their vital work with young homeless people here in the West Midlands.
Let’s face it, as charity challenges go, this one is both simple and delicious! No running required, no daft things to do, and it involves food, it’s a no brainer for me!
So, I’m sharing my tomato soup recipe to give you some inspiration to get involved.
Gastronomic Gorman’s Tomato & St Basils Soup (serves 2)
300g fresh tomatoes (if using cherry, leave them whole, anything bigger, slice in half)
2 or 3 cloves of garlic, unpeeled
A good glug of basil infused oil
Salt & freshly ground black pepper
2 roasted red peppers from a jar
Vegetable or chicken stock
2 teaspoons of tomato puree
A drizzle of balsamic vinegar
A drizzle of double cream
1. Heat the oven to 180 degrees C / 160 degrees C fan
2. Arrange the tomatoes and garlic cloves on a baking sheet, drizzle with basil oil and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper
3. Pop in the oven and roast until the tomatoes are soft and starting to blacken around the edges. Mine took around 17 minutes at 160 degrees C (fan).
4. Once roasted, allow to cool slightly. Squeeze the garlic cloves out of their skins.
5. Add the squeezed garlic and roasted tomatoes to a blender with the tomato puree and enough stock to cover the tomatoes.
6. Whizz until smooth, then add to a saucepan to reheat.
7. Once the soup is warmed through, pop into bowls and drizzle with basil oil, balsamic vinegar and cream respectively.
I love the sweet, smokiness from the jarred roasted red peppers and how the tangy balsamic vinegar really brings out the tomato flavour. I used Little Doone garlic infused balsamic vinegar, plus jarred roasted peppers and Specially Selected basil infused oil from Aldi in my recipe.
I hope my recipe has inspired you to get involved for such a good cause! Tomato and St Basils Soup Week starts on Monday 12th March and you can register online to get involved.