A few days before Halloween and my children are all nursing something – one a cold, one a pumpkin carving injury, the last a broken heart. So something nourishing and comforting required……….
Despite my best efforts, my daughters’ go to comfort foods are tinned tomato soup or spinaci e ricotta tortellini so I thought I’d try to see what a home made version of what their love child would look like. Lovely as it turns out, and popular to boot. Use the best, ready to burst tomatoes you can get and deseed before you roast them – I think that they can be bitter otherwise. Roasting the tomatoes intensifies their flavour and boots their antioxidant properties significantly.
This soup is ready in about 45 minutes and is all about depth of flavour and action packed goodness. I used packaged tortellini as theres a limit to my patience on a Saturday afternoon but if you feel the need to make your own, go for your life. Ravioli will do just as well, as would tortelli or similar.
Make it Better Tomato and Tortellini Soup – Serves 4-6
8ish ripe and bursting tomatoes
1 x tbsp coconut oil or Carotino Oil
3 cloves of garlic, sliced
1 white onion
1 can good quality chopped tomatoes
1 tbsp tomato purée
2 tsp harissa paste
1 tbsp pesto
500ml vegetable stock
1 packet of spinach and ricotta tortellini/four cheese Ravioli
Put the oven onto 200dg/Gas 6 and splash the oil into a roasting dish. Chop and deseed the tomatoes and throw into the dish with the garlic and some seasoning, turning in the oil before popping into the oven for 40 minutes or so.
Meanwhile, cook the onion in a large saucepan until translucent. Add the canned tomatoes, stock, harissa paste, pesto and tomato purée and simmer slowly for about 10/15 minutes.
Cook the tortellini to the packet instructions and drain.
When the roasted tomatoes are ready (just starting to “catch” colour in the oven) remove and add to the other ingredients in the saucepan. Take an immersion blender /stick blender and turn around in the soup until velvety and creamy. Some might add some Greek yoghurt or creme fraïche at this stage but I don’t think it needs it. Season well and add the tortellini to warm through in its tomato bath.
Spoon into warm bowls and serve with a scoop of pesto and some freshly grated Parmesan, not forgetting to plant kisses on foreheads as they chow down.
This would work well catering for larger numbers, served on bonfire night or as a reheating exercise post trick or treating.
Happy Halloween everyone!