Easy Tomato and Basil Soup

It's far nicer than the canned soup and so quick and easy to make. If you make a big batch it freezes really well for another time. I like to add a chilli to mine for a spicy tomato soup. Serve with wholemeal crusty bread for an 'almost' instant easy meal.

After the indulgence of Christmas time, January is always a welcome time to detox. This easy tomato soup is nice because is just simple and light, but warm and filling at the same time. As it's made with tinned tomatoes (which are perfectly fine in this recipe) it's a real store cupboard superhero. I would say that it's essential to add carrots to this soup for sweetness. If you're not keen on celery then just leave it out.

Easy Tomato and Basil Soup: Serves 4 as a main, 6 as a starter:

Time:  10 mins prep + 30 mins cooking
Cost:  49p per serving*
Calories:  158 per serving*

*based on 4 servings

  • 2 onions
  • 3 carrots
  • 2 celery sticks (optional)
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 3 tins chopped or plum tomatoes
  • 1 litre vegetable stock
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil (or a handful of fresh)
  • 1 fresh red chilli (optional)
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • A little olive oil for frying
  1. Peel and very roughly slice the onions. Pop in a large saucepan or stock pot with a little oil and stir fry until soft.
  2. While the onions are frying, prepare the other ingredients. Scrub or lightly peel the carrots, top and tail then roughly dice and add to the onions. Wash and dice the celery and add to the pan. Peel and smash or roughly chop each clove of garlic and add to the pan. As everything will be blended up there's no need to waste time doing anything neatly. Add the canned tomatoes and vegetable stock. Season to taste. Chop the chilli and add to the pan (optional). If you are using dried basil, add now. If fresh, add just before blending. Bring everything to the boil, give a good stir and leave to simmer for around 30 minutes or until the carrots are tender.
  3. When the carrots are tender (to check, fish one out of the pan and see if you can mash it easily with a fork), blend the whole thing thoroughly with a hand blender until fairly smooth.

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