2kg good-quality plum tomatoes

(don’t store them in the fridge)

2 red onions
1 bulb of garlic 
sea salt
6 black peppercorns
3 glugs of good-quality olive oil, plus

1 tbsp extra for drizzling
1 bunch of basil, leaves and stalks


75ml vodka
1 litre chicken or veg stock
2 tbsp good-quality balsamic vinegar toast, to serve

Heat a large roasting tray in the oven at 200oC (fan 180°C/gas mark 6).

Meanwhile, cut the tomatoes in half and cut the peeled red onions into quarters.

Crush and peel the bulb of garlic and pop all into a large bowl.

Season with a large pinch of salt and the peppercorns. Add three big glugs of olive oil and the basil stalks. Marinate for 10 minutes, or if preparing theday before, marinate overnight for a more intense flavour.

Once the roasting dish is blistering hot, add the bowl of marinated tomatoes and quickly pop back into the oven. Cook for 10 minutes until the tomatoes are slightly burnt and blistered.

Pour in vodka into the roasting dish and cook for another 3–5 minutes in the oven. Add the stock and the basil leaves and cook for another 5–10 minutes.

Carefully remove the roasting dish from the oven and either blitz the soup with a hand blender or carefully ladle the soup into a blender and blend until smooth.

Check the seasoning.


Drizzle with olive oil and the balsamic vinegar. Serve with some gorgeous, crunchy toast.

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