Another one of my oldie but a goodie recipes. I first made this for a picnic 10 years ago. This wasn’t just any old picnic but one at Glyndebourne, so the picnic was during the interval of the opera in the grounds of the stately home. It was a formal back tie affair and I was kinda nervous as I was cooking for my other half’s family for the first time, so no pressure then!


For those of you unfamiliar with Glyndebourne it’s a stately home in the UK where they hold Operas during the summer season.

So if you want something that works well both as a a warm or chilled soup, then this will earn you brownie points. This also works well being prepped on the BBQ as the coals give the tomatoes that smoky edge.

12 tomatoes
2 red peppers
1 red onion
1 head of garlic
Large bunch of thyme
1 tablespoon powdered vegetable stock (marigold bouillon is best, as you can get yeast and gluten free versions)
Olive oil
2 tablespoons tomato purée
2 litres water
100ml crème fraiche
Juice half a lemon
Salt, pepper and sugar to taste

For those of you who like their soup a tad spicier, you can add a red chilli (or 3) to the roasting pan with the veg.

Half the tomatoes, quarter the pepper and onion and place in a roasting tin


Lightly drizzle with oil and sprinkle the thyme over
Place the garlic bulb in whole or sprinkle individual cloves in
Roast in a low oven or BBQ for 2 hours at 120 celsius
Remove the thyme sprigs before placing the contents in a pan
When ready, place in large pan and sprinkle veg stock over
Boil the water in a kettle and pour over the veg in the pan until well covered, about 2 inches over should do it, the 2l might be too much
Add tomato purée and stir
Bring the soup to the boil, turn off and leave to cool, when cold, blend
At this stage you can sieve it to give a smoother soup, or leave as is for a rustic soup
Add crème fraiche and whisk in
Add the lemon juice
Add salt, pepper and sugar to make it up to your taste

This soup can be served chilled or hot 
If  serving cold I sometimes like to add some Worcestershire sauce and some tabasco to give it a kick, maybe even a cheeky slug of vodka if you feel that way inclined.


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