The nursery classic for grown-ups
It is, perhaps even it must be, possible that somewhere on three planets breathes a human being who doesn’t like tomato soup. I’ve never met them, and certainly neither has Mrs Bailey. She probably wouldn’t even entertain the notion. It’s a staple on her table, in and out of term; and generations of girls have wheedled this recipe out of her, to take home for their mothers or their older siblings or their housekeepers, so that they needn’t go without all holiday long.
A dozen or so large tomatoes — say 2.5 kilos, give or take
An equal number of garlic cloves (or to taste, but one-per-tomato is the correct proportion)
1 800-gram tin of crushed tomatoes, preferably fire-roasted
Halve and peel the onion; halve the tomatoes; peel the garlic. Toss them with olive oil and lay them cut-side down on a rimmed baking tray. Roast in a 400F oven for forty-five minutes or so, until the onion is tender.
Allow to cool, then blitz in a blender until completely smooth. Decant into a large saucepan. Blitz the tinned tomatoes too, and add those.
Bring to the boil and simmer for a while, seasoning to taste with plenty of salt and pepper.
Serve with bread or toast or grilled cheese sandwiches or crackers or as you like, plus all the accompaniments you can think of, for that is half the fun. Bacon croutons and sour cream and pesto and grated parmesan and chilli oil and…
You can find more of Mrs Bailey’s recipes here:
And all the adventures of the Crater School girls may be found here: