roast romano and tomato soup with black garlic

Lindsey Bareham

The great thing about this addictive soup is that there is no chopping and the oven does the work. Roasting and liquidizing peppers, tomatoes and onion makes a rich, creamy soup but adding a couple of cloves of inky black smoked garlic adds a beguiling mellow garlicky flavour. Alternatively, roasting a few regular garlic cloves gives a similarly smoky result and brighter colour.

serves 4, prep 20 min, cook 35 min

8 tomatoes
1 tbsp olive oil
2 red onions
2 Romano red peppers
2 black garlic cloves or 4 garlic cloves
750ml chicken or vegetable stock (cube is fine)

Heat the oven to 200C/gas 6. Halve the tomatoes round their middles and arrange cut-side up on a foil-lined, shallow roasting tin. Smear the cut surfaces with olive oil. Halve unpeeled onion and place, cut-side down, at the edge of the tin. Place the peppers on their sides next to the tomatoes. Tuck unpeeled fresh garlic between the tomatoes. Bake for 20 mins. Turn the peppers, remove the garlic if soft. If not leave for a further 15 min. By now the skin of the peppers should be blistered, the flesh soft. Remove to a plate.

Cover with clingfilm and leave for 10 min. Remove skin and seeds. Peel the garlic. Place both (or black garlic) in bowl of a food processor. By now tomatoes and onions should be soft. Use a knife and fork to remove onion skin. Tip both over the peppers. Add 2 cups of stock and blitz for several minutes until smooth. Pass through a sieve (to catch seeds, cores etc.) into a clean pan, forcing through with a wooden spoon, scraping underneath too. Add remaining stock, reheat, season to taste with salt and pepper and serve.