Roasted Tomato and Chilli Soup with Herby Croutons

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I went out for a walk in the cold with my toddler before dinner so we both needed something warm to eat that was quick and easy to make.  I often make a roasted tomato and garlic soup, but wanted something a bit spicier to warm us up so added loads of chilli flakes.  I had it with herby croutons to make it more filling and comforting.  It was really full of flavour and is perfect for a winter day.

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Ingredients:

For the soup:

1kg fresh ripe tomatoes

5 cloves of garlic

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

A dash of chilli flakes (more or less depending on how spicy you like it, and you can add more to garnish the adults’ portions if you want them to spicier)

Vegetable stock (I used Kallo very low salt stock cubes and add salt to the adults’ portions)

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For the croutons:

2 slices of vegan wholegrain bread

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 heaped tsp dried oregano or other herbs

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How it’s made:

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius.

Cut the tomatoes in half, leave cherry tomatoes whole.  Arrange them on a baking tray cut-side up.

Add the garlic cloves, whole and unpeeled, to the tray.

Sprinkle with the chilli flakes (less or more depending on how spicy you like it).

Drizzle with about 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil.

Roast in the oven for about 30 minutes on the bottom shelf.

While the tomato cooks, slice the bread into small cubes.  Mix with 2 tablespoons olive oil and the herbs in a bowl.  Season with sea salt if desired.

Spread the croutons out on a baking tray and cook in the oven with the tomatoes for about 10 minutes, stirring half way through the cooking time, depending on how crunchy you like them.

When the tomatoes are cooked, remove from the oven.  Leave to cool a bit.  Pop the garlic cloves out of their skin and discard the skin.

Blend the tomatoes and garlic until smooth, along with the juices from the baking tray, in a blender with just enough vegetable stock to reach the desired thickness.

Serve the soup garnished with a few chilli flakes if you want and the croutons.

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