Tomato soup

Preparation time
10 to 30 mins

Cooking Time
10 to 30 mins

Serves 4


James Martin’s thick and creamy tomato soup primed with garlic and fresh basil – a national favourite.

By James Martin
From Saturday Kitchen Recipes


  • 2kg/4lb 4oz mixed ripe tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 1 handful fresh basil leaves, plus extra to serve
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • 4 tbsp olive oil, plus extra to serve
  • 1 litre/1¾ pints hot vegetable stock
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2-3 tbsp caster sugar, to taste
  • 150ml/5fl oz double cream, plus extra to serve
  • 1 ciabatta loaf, thickly sliced, to serve


  1. Heat a large, heavy-based saucepan over a medium to high heat. When the pan is hot, add the tomatoes and fry for 4-5 minutes, or until they have started to break down.
  2. Add the garlic, basil, tomato purée and two tablespoons of olive oil. Continue to cook for a further 1-2 minutes.
  3. Pour in the vegetable stock, bring the mixture to the boil, then reduce the heat until the mixture is simmering. Simmer for 3-4 minutes.
  4. Transfer the soup mixture to a food processor and blend to a purée.
  5. Return the blended soup to the pan and season, to taste, with salt, freshly ground black pepper and sugar.
  6. Pour in the cream and return the mixture to a simmer. Continue to simmer for a further 1-2 minutes.
  7. Meanwhile, brush the ciabatta slices with the remaining two tablespoons of olive oil.
  8. Heat a griddle pan until hot, add the ciabatta slices, in batches if necessary, and cook for 1-2 minutes on each side, or until golden brown griddle marks appear on both sides of the ciabatta.
  9. To serve, ladle the soup into four serving bowls. Drizzle a swirl of double cream into each bowl, then a swirl of olive oil, to garnish. Sprinkle over a few basil leaves.
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