The best thing about wisdom teeth is tomato soup.

I’m one of those people who inexplicably has always wanted their wisdom teeth out. I just didn’t need the procedure until now! Actually it wasn’t “teeth”, it was one pathetic little tooth, which was almost completely out of it’s grave already. The whole process was way too easy and breezy; no laughing gas, no vicodin, barely any ice on the cheeks was necessary. Such a disappointment.

So I milked my one day liquid diet for all it was worth. In my non drug induced state, the tomato soup with chunky croutons and guacamole out of Jamie Oliver’s Cookbook 30-Minute Meals was all I could think about.

When I told my parents we would be having soup for dinner they were disappointed. Like many, they have adopted the belief that soup is not a meal. But! I have to admit, this was the first time I’ve ever changed their minds about anything without even saying a word.

I’m passing on the Tomato Soup with chunky Croutons, Guacamole and sticky Prune sponge Pudding recipe from Jamie Oliver’s amazing cookbook, 30 Minute Meals, the way I wish Jamie would have given me. You can find the original recipe here.

What you’ll need:

  • 1kg (2lb 4oz) ripe cherry tomatoes on the vine, red and yellow
  • 4 large tomatoes
  • 1 fresh red chilli
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1 ciabatta loaf
  • 2 small red onions
  • 4tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • A small bunch of fresh basil
  • A few dollops of créme fraîche, to serve
  • A handful of mixed-colour cherry tomatoes
  • 1-2 fresh red chillies
  • A handful of fresh coriander
  • 2 ripe avocados
  • 2 limes
  • ½ bulb of fennel
  • 1 carrot
  • ½ cucumber
  • ½ a 125g pack of grissini or other breadsticks
  • Olive oil
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt and black pepper

METHOD

TO START: Get all your ingredients and equipment ready (the ones you actually have). Turn the oven on and put a large saucepan on a low heat. Put the standard blade attachment into the food processor (I used a blender, because I don’t have a food processor yet). 

TOMATO SOUP: Quarter the larger tomatoes, then put all the tomatoes into a roasting tray. Drizzle over a good lug of olive oil and season. Halve and deseed the red chilli and add to the tray. Crush in 4 peeled cloves of garlic. Quickly toss everything, then put on the top shelf of the oven for 12 to 15 minutes. If your tray is in the middle shelf, Bianca, don’t be lazy. Change it to the top. 

CROUTONS: Get another roasting tray and rip the ciabatta loaf into 8 equal chunks (make more croutons than you think you need). Add a good lug of olive oil, a pinch of salt and whack on to the bottom shelf of the oven.

TOMATO SOUP: Peel and roughly chop the onions and put them into the hot saucepan with a lug of olive oil and a good pinch of salt. Turn the heat up to medium and leave to soften, stirring occasionally.

Stir 4tbsp balsamic vinegar into the onions and let it cook away and reduce down. Don’t be scared about the amount and smell of balsamic vinegar, you’ll most likely want to add more later. 

GUACAMOLE: Squeeze Smash a handful of cherry tomatoes on to the biggest board you have, then finely chop up the flesh with 1 to 2 red chillies and a handful of coriander leaves. 

TOMATO SOUP: Take the tray of tomatoes out of the oven and add everything to the pan of onions. 

CROUTONS:  Check them  – if they are crisp and golden turn off the oven, but leave them in there to keep warm. I don’t trust my oven, so I took them out and placed them on the counter. My dad ate half of them before I could actually serve them. 

GUACAMOLE: Halve and stone (stone?) the avocados, then squeeze them over the board so the flesh comes out of the skins. Discard the skins, add a pinch of salt, squeeze over the juice of 2 limes and chop everything together until fine. Taste and adjust the flavours if needed, then use your knife to sweep everything to one side of the board. (It’s okay to go a little crazy with the limes. Remember, it’s all about how you like it!)

We skipped the fennel and carrots and had the guacamole with our leftover croutons. Yum!

TOMATO SOUP: In two batches, carefully pour the vegetables from the saucepan into a liquidiser. Add most of the basil, put the lid on, and whiz to a fairly rustic consistency, pouring the mixture into a large pan or serving bowl as you go. Don’t over think it, just hold the top down and go! 

Once finished, mix well, season to taste and top with a dollop (Dollop: Add a shapeless mass or blob of something casually and without measuring. Dollop.) of sour cream, a few basil leaves and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. Take to the table with a stack of soup bowls and the tray of croutons from the oven.

TO SERVE: Put a crouton or two in the bottom of each soup bowl. Ladle the soup on top, then dig in and let everyone help themselves to the guacamole.

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