Roasted Tomato Soup with Basil Pesto


Serves 6

Preparation Time

Cook time

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Cook's NoteUse overly ripe tomatoes for a deeper, richer flavour.
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Roast Tomato Soup:

  • 1,2kg ripe tomatoes, quartered
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled
  • Olive oil, for drizzling
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 large onion, finely diced
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 600ml good quality vegetable stock
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 30g butter
  • 3 tbsp flour
  • Juice of ½ lemon


  • Canola oil, for frying
  • 1 x small baguette or sourdough loaf, roughly torn into small pieces
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Basil Pesto:

  • 250ml basil leaves, washed
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 4 tbsp pine nuts
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • 5 tbsp grated Parmesan
  • 120ml olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper


Preheat oven to 180˚C.

To make the soup:

Place the tomatoes and the garlic in a deep roasting dish and pour over a generous glug of olive oil. Season well with salt and black pepper. Roast in the oven for 40 minutes, remove and allow to cool slightly.

In a large pot over medium heat, sauté the onion in a small amount of olive oil until soft and translucent. Add the cayenne pepper and paprika and sauté for a further 30 seconds or until fragrant. Add the roast tomatoes and garlic, vegetable stock and sugar.  Place the butter in a small bowl and melt in the microwave. Add the flour to the melted butter and mix well. Stir into the soup and then blend the soup using a stick blender. Bring to the boil, and then remove from the heat and add the lemon juice.

Season with salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.

To make the croutons:

Heat a large pot one-third full of oil. Test a piece of the torn bread in the oil to see if it sizzles and is hot enough. Fry the croutons in batches until golden brown. Remove from the oil with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Season well with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

To make the basil pesto:

Add the basil, garlic, pine nuts, lemon juice and Parmesan to the jug of a food processor and pulse until coarsely combined. While the food processor is running, gradually add the olive oil until all the oil has been emulsified. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Decant into a jar.

To serve, drizzle basil pesto over each bowl of soup and scatter with a handful of croutons.