White Cloud Roasted Tomato Soup

For those of you who might have been missing “Wellington” updates; “Wellington” will be making a guest appearance at the Cliffords Mesne Carol Service on Sunday 18th December – despite the fact he is likely to be the one and only sheep present….

I have been spending a bit of time trying to trace the source of a gorgeous Rose Petal Handcream; this is the most scrumptious of handcreams, beautifully scented, super soft and utterly lovely.  Made in England, there are a range of delicious fragrances, all at very palatable prices; it almost impossible to make a choice.

Equally palatable is this warming Winter Soup which was made, to great acclaim, a weekend or two ago and it really is easy so it seemed a perfect candidate for the December Recipe:

Roasted Tomato Soup with basil and olive oil croutons –

Serves 6:  2-3tbsp olive oil, 1kg large ripe tomatoes, halved, 1 large red onion sliced, 3 cloves of garlic crushed, 1 litre vegetable stock, splash of white wine, 4-5 sun dried tomatoes, 1tsp caster sugar, fresh basil (not readily available in December!), 1tsp balsamic vinegar, 4-5 slices of baguette cut into cubes.

Heat the oven to gas mark 3/170 degrees centigrade and heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a baking tray.  When hot, add the tomatoes (cut side up) and onion, scatter the garlic and season to taste.  Roast for 20-40 minutes.  Transfer to a saucepan and add the stock, wine, chopped sun dried tomatoes, sugar and a handful of torn basil leaves.  Stir in the balsamic vinegar and simmer gently for 10-15 minutes.  Blend the soup until smooth.  Meanwhile put the remaining oil in a bowl with finely chopped basil and black pepper.  Dab a little oil onto the cubed bread and cooked for 5-10 minutes until crisp and golden.  Serve with the soup and extra basil leaves.

Well, the Christmas rush is well and truly upon us and we are doing all we can to keep up with Orders and requests.  Hopefully Steve from Box Clever will turn up tomorrow and take away all the old packaging; we definitely need to clear the decks!

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