While you can always make enough passata and tomato sauce to keep the freezer stocked throughout the winter, my daughter likes to celebrate the beginning of autumn with a day spent in the kitchen making soup. Below is her recipe for roast tomato and garlic soup. She says 'it's an absolute doddle, and you can hide away in the kitchen with a book and pretend you're busy cooking because the house smells of things roasting'.
garlic (I use a whole head, but you might prefer less. No fewer than 4 fat cloves.)
tomatoes (lots, probably 650g - 800g)
750ml - 1l vegetable stock
1. Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees C.
2. Remove the tops from the tomatoes, and break the garlic into cloves but do not peel. Put the tomatoes and garlic in a roasting tin with enough olive oil to coat, and then roll them around till they're covered. Roast them for around 25-30 minutes, and shaking the tray occasionally to stop the tomatoes from sticking. They're ready when they've slumped, and the skins are beginning to catch. Bigger tomatoes will mean a slightly longer cooking time, but keep an eye on them.
3. Put the tin on the side to cool while you prepare the stock. If you are too busy to make your own stock, Marigold Swiss Vegetable bouillon works brilliantly. Aim for 750ml of stock made to 1l strength, as you want to be able to add water without diluting the flavour if the soup comes out too thick.
4. Once the tomatoes are cool enough to handle, pick out the garlic cloves. Add the tomatoes and the cooking oil to the stock, then squeeze in the roasted garlic clove by clove. It should come out of the skins like toothpaste.
5. Blend the mixture in batches, then return to the pan by passing it through a sieve. (This is to get rid of skins. You can skip the sieving and call the soup rustic if you think life's too short.) If the blended soup is too thick, add small amounts of water while stirring until it reaches the right consistency. Add salt and pepper to taste, then either set aside and reheat when needed or serve immediately.
Serves 4ish, and is even nicer with a drizzle of pesto.