2 sticks of celery
2 medium onions
2 cloves of garlic
2 reduced-salt chicken or vegetable stock cubes – I use the powdered variety and pre mix it in a glass jug.
2 x 400 g tins of quality plum tomatoes or
8 large ripe tomatoes ½ a bunch of fresh basil (15g) (I removed the skins from the tomatoes first by scoring them and covering hot water)
Method 1. Peel and roughly slice the carrots, slice the celery, and peel and roughly chop the onions. Peel and slice the garlic.
2. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large pan over a medium heat, add all the prepped ingredients, then cook with lid ajar for 10 to 15 minutes, I found I left the lid on to keep moisture in or until softened. I also cut up the tomato stalks and added them in so they’d soften down. It’s up to you, based on your pan.
3. Crumble the stock cubes (or powder) into a jug, cover with 1.5 litres of boiling water, and stir until dissolved.
4. Add the stock to the veg pan with tinned and or fresh whole tomatoes, including the green stalks that may still be attached to some of the tomatoes. See note above
5. Give it a good stir and bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer for 10 minutes with the lid on.
Meanwhile, pick your basil leaves.
6. Remove the pan from the heat. Season to taste with sea salt and black pepper, then stir through the basil leaves.
7. Using a stick blender or liquidizer, pulse the soup until smooth. Taste and check the seasoning, then serve.
Tips It’s also great to use as a quick base sauce for dishes such as cannelloni or lasagne.
The flavour is simply amazing. Whether it’s the stalks or the peppery basil, it is a yummy soup. For dysphagia issues, I am going to toast ( sandwich press) dark rye and gouda then cut the crusts off. I’ll either eat it slowly or cut the toasted sandwich up and pop the snippets ( that’s the cut up toast) straight into the bowl of hot soup.
You could also eat this cold with an avocado and basil sorbet.