Roast Tomato and Bacon Soup combines two great loves of mine. They compliment each other perfectly and create a warming, welcoming dish that is a pleasure to eat. Served with homemade herb and parmesan cheese croutons for the ultimate accompaniment. I have served this for brunch, as a soup course and as a starter to great success. You know its a hit when the dinner table goes quiet as everybody is eating.
Roast Tomato and Bacon Soup
For the Soup
- Pre-heat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4
- Remove the rind from the bacon and discard. Dice the bacon.
- Mix the tomatoes, diced smoked bacon, carrots, onions, thyme, garlic, and olive oil together in a large roasting tin.
- Season the mixture well and place in the preheated oven for 25 minutes until softened.
- Transfer the mixture into a large saucepan for ease of mixing and place over a high heat.
- Now add the chicken stock, the tomato purée and half the basil leaves.
- Stir the mixture well making sure to squash the tomatoes with the spoon.
- Bring to the boil, cover with a lid.
- When boiling, reduce the heat and simmer for 15–20 minutes.
- Whilst the soup is simmering, make the croutons.
- Using a deep fat fryer, pre-heat the oil to 190C/375F.
- In a small dish/bowl, pour the cream and the egg yolks and beat together. Season with salt and pepper.
- In a separate bowl combine the chopped basil and chopped coriander.
- Grate the parmesan cheese into a third bowl.
- Using a chopping board, slice up the bread in small square, mouth size pieces.
- When ready and the oil is at temperature, dip 2 of the bread pieces into the egg and cream mixture.
- Then place the coated bread into the herb mixture to coat one side.
- Now for the clever bit. Place the herbed sides together to make a small herb sandwich. Then toss the little sandwich into the parmesan bowl to cover the outer sides and put to one side.
- When you have done all of the crouton sandwiches, you are ready to cook.
- Carefully place the croutons into the oil and fry for 1-2 minutes until they are lovely and golden.
- When cooked, place on kitchen paper to drain.
- Returning to the soup, add the mixture to a liquidiser/blender and whizz until it is the texture you like. Choice in yours as to whether it is lumpy or silky smooth. Do this in batches to avoid overfilling.
- Return the soup to the pan and warm thoroughly.
- Taste to see whether any further seasoning required.
- When ready to serve, ladle into warmed bowls and top with a basil leaf.
- Serve with a couple of croutons on the side for dunking.