Roast Tomato Soup with Saffron and Honey

     This is a combination I often play around with, great for sauces and soups. It’s very simple; just roast tomato halves until soft and juicy then liquidize with a generous pinch saffron threads, microplaned zest of a juicing orange, chicken or vegetable stock and adjust the seasoning with honey, salt and juice from the orange. Lovely. It could be jazzed up with a spoonful of pesto or other herby, green sauce. For a super-smooth finish, pass it through a sieve, forcing it through with a wooden spoon so you are just left with pips and stray cores. I rarely bother.

Serves 4

Prep: 15 min

Cook: 60 min

10 medium-sized tomatoes, preferably vine

1 tbsp olive oil

750ml chicken or vegetable stock

generous pinch saffron stamens

1 tbsp runny honey

1 juicing orange

squeeze lemon

     Halve the tomatoes round their middles and lay out on a foil-lined, shallow roasting tin. Smear the cut surfaces with olive oil. Roast at 150C/gas mark 2 until soft and squishy but before the skins burn. It’s hard to give exact timings because long and slow is best to concentrate the flavours but without drying out the tomatoes but check after 45 mins and enjoy the wonderful aroma. Meanwhile, heat 500ml stock and when very hot, stir in the saffron stamens and microplane zest the zest into the stock then stir in the honey. Liquidize the stock with the squashy tomatoes, scraping all the juices into the liquidizer bowl. Blitz for several minutes until thick, creamy and looking extraordinarily like another well-known tomato soup. Taste, add extra stock if very thick and season with salt, juice from the orange and a squeeze of lemon. Reheat now or later.