FRESH TOMATO BROTH
Using a whole chicken here gives incredible flavour. Shred the leftovers in salads, sandwiches, with pasta – whatever you can think of! 1 x 2kg (4lb 8oz) free-range chicken, fat trimmed off 20 large mixed yellow, orange and red tomatoes (about 2.5kg/5½lb), roughly chopped 4 large onions, roughly chopped 4 celery sticks, trimmed, roughly chopped 6 large garlic cloves 1tbsp tomato purée (optional) 2 large, good-quality ciabatta loaves, halved lengthways 2 large garlic cloves, halved lengthways A few ripe tomatoes, halved Extra-virgin olive oil Preheat your grill to high. Once hot, toast your bread on both sides until golden and crisp. Transfer the bread to a serving board and rub each piece with the cut side of the garlic cloves. Rub and squash the insides of the tomatoes
Serves 4 A few soft herb tips such as parsley, basil and mint, olive oil infused with basil (from supermarkets), and Parmesan, to serve Place the chicken, onions, celery, garlic and tomatoes in your largest saucepan. Add enough cold water to cover them all, then pop the lid on and bring to the boil over a high heat – this should take about 30 minutes. Once boiling, reduce to a simmer over a medium heat with the lid askew and cook for 1 hour, or until the chicken is cooked through.
Carefully lift the chicken out with tongs and put to one side. Pour the soup through a fine sieve, discarding what’s left behind, and then strain it through 4 layers of muslin. Taste to check the flavour balance, and season with a little salt and pepper, if needed.
Skim off the fat if you’re serving the soup immediately. If you’re leaving it for another time, chill, then scoop off any fat that sets on the surface.
Gently reheat before serving. If you think it needs a colour boost, scoop out a cup of the broth and add 1tbsp tomato purée to it. Mix well; return to the broth and mix again.
Serve with a drizzle of basil-infused oil, a few herb tips and a shaving of Parmesan.
CATALAN-STYLE BREAD WITH SQUASHED TOMATOES
into the bread; get a good, even coating. When you’ve squeezed out all the tasty, juicy stuff, discard the skins.
Sprinkle the bread with a little sea salt. Add the toppings — some of my favourites are: a nice covering of shaved manchego cheese; a handful of chopped olives; a scattering of onion cress, baby basil and mint; a few slices of serrano ham, or some rocket leaves with a few soft herbs sprinkled over. Add a good drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil, then hack into chunks and let everyone have some. Amazing with a cool, crisp beer.