They say summer bodies are made in the winter, so why not try my version of hearty comfort food – Smoky Tomato and Bacon Soup. It’s got layers of flavour, a good dose of immune strengthening garlic and a beautiful creeping warmth from the chilli. I promise it will hit the spot…without leaving you feeling heavy and stodgy!
Smoky Tomato and Bacon Soup
- About 400g bacon bones
- 2 x 800g tins whole tomatoes, drained and juice reserved
- 3 long chillies, split
- 2 red onions – peeled and sliced into thick rounds
- 10 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
- 6 sprigs thyme
- 1 1/4 tsp sweet smoked paprika
- 2 tsp fennel seeds
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 100 ml extra virgin olive oil
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 3 tbsp tomato paste
- 200ml cream
- Parsley, to garnish
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees fan-forced or 200 degrees conventional.
- Put the bacon bones, 2.5 litres of water and the drained tomato juice in a large pot. Simmer briskly for 50 minutes with the lid off. Strain and pour back into the pot.
- Meanwhile, put the tomatoes, chillies, onion, garlic, thyme and spices in a roasting tray. Toss with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Bake for 40 minutes.
- Remove tomato mix from the oven and stir through tomato paste. Return to oven for 10 minutes.
- Use the tip of a small knife to scrap out the flesh of the chillies. Add the chilli flesh and tomato mix to the bacon-infused stock and simmer over a medium heat for 15 minutes.
- Remove the thyme stems and working in batches, puree the soup in a food processor or with a stick blender.
- Return soup to the pot, stir in cream and bring just to a boil, then turn off the heat. Taste and season with salt and pepper if required.
- Ladle into bowls and serve with chopped parsley.