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Autumn is well and truly here, and with it the delights of the harvest. Fridges brimming with freshly picked fruit and vegetables after months of labour in the garden. There is nothing more rewarding than eating home-grown veg, but what do you do when suddenly your kitchen is overflowing with tomatoes? They seem to suddenly all appear at once – so the obvious answer seems to be tomato soup.
I do enjoy a good gluten free soup, as regular readers may have guessed, but tomato has never been my soup of choice. However, a soup recipe caught my eye in the latest Health and Fitness magazine and I decided I would take the idea and create my own – gluten free and dairy free roasted tomato, garlic and cashew nut soup. There, that already sounds much more appealing than just plain ol’ ‘gluten free tomato soup’!
I love the rich flavour you get from roasted tomatoes –it’s like everything intensifies and you get this meaty, delicious juice in the pan which just creates the most mouth-exploding flavours. The garlic and fresh basil just grows this flavour even more and to me, it’s real comfort food.
I had to refrain from eating all of the roasted tomatoes before making the soup – they were just so moreish! With the evening getting darker it was just me and two trays of baked tomatoes with a silly grin on my face in the kitchen.
The cashew nuts add a great element to this soup – as well as a good hit of fat and protein. They’re rich with nutrients and the nutty flavour works so well. My blender is on its way out, which left me with loads of crunchy, bits of nuts. I actually preferred this! My original intention was to have this as a smooth soup but I liked the crunch so I left it in. I prefer my soup with bits anyway. A great source of extra protein if you're vegetarian too.
This batch would serve four people – if you want it smoother than try sieving the soup once you have blended. It would also make a great sauce for pasta or meatballs, the wonderful thing about tomatoes is that they are so versatile.
So for a rich soup, exploding with flavour, naturally gluten and diary free and great for bunging in a Thermos for lunch on the go, here’s the recipe….
Gluten free, dairy free roasted tomato, garlic and cashew nut soup
4 garlic cloves
2 tsp coconut oil
65g cashew nuts
300ml vegetable stock (or chicken, if you prefer. I use Knorr stock cubes)
½ tsp dried oregano
salt and pepper
- Preheat the oven to 180'C/Gas mark 4
- Chop the tomatoes in half and put them in a large roasting tin. They should all form one layer -I had to use two tins to fit them all in as mine weren't very big.
- Peel the garlic and chop each clove into ⅔ pieces. Sprinkle the garlic, oregano, basil and a generous helping of salt and pepper over the tomatoes. You could add some dried chilli flakes if you fancy a kick!
- Add the coconut oil to the tomatoes - I just dolloped it in the tray and let it melt in the oven.
- Roast for 25 minutes, then remove from the oven. Sprinkle over the cashew nuts and return to the oven for another 25 minutes. The tomatoes should be soft and squashy and there should be a nice juice in the bottom of the pan.
- Add the tomatoes, cashews and pan juices to a blender along with the stock. You may have to do this in batches!
- If you don't want the bits, then sieve the soup before ladling into bowls. Enjoy hot with some nice, warm gluten free bread - these Warburton's rolls would be perfect!