Roast Tomato and Spinach Soup

This is a soup to cook and eat. Its exquisite flavour won’t fade but its bright verdant green colour will. The combination of roast tomato halves and whole shallots liquidised with spinach wilted in boiling stock is extraordinarily good. Far more delicious than you might have thought possible.

Serves 2
Prep: 15 min
Cook: 45 min

6 shallots, approx 25g each
6 medium tomatoes
1/2 tbsp olive oil
1 chicken stock cube
750ml boiling water
150g baby spinach

Turn the oven to 150C/gas mark 2. Line a small, shallow roasting tin with tinfoil. Halve the tomatoes round their middles and arrange cut-side up in the middle of the roasting tin. Edge with the shallots. Smear the cut surfaces of the tomatoes with olive oil. Place the tray on a top shelf of the hot oven and cook for 45 minutes, checking after 30; you want the tomatoes squashy and juicy not burnished and the shallots very soft. The tomatoes may be ready before the shallots, in which case remove toms to a plate and return the tray to the oven for a further 10 minutes or so. Meanwhile, dissolve the stock cube in 750ml boiling water and pour it over the spinach to totally immerse. I used a mixing bowl but a saucepan might be more convenient. Leave for 5 minutes or so until wilted. Liquidize tomatoes, any juices, shallots squeezed out of their skins and spinach stock, continuing until very smooth. Pass through a sieve to catch pips etc, into a saucepan. Reheat and season to taste with salt and pepper.