Keep it light and easy with Hugh
Creamy Roasted Tomato Soup
are admittedly ‘pleasant’, Fearnley-Whittingstall has been conscientiously shifting towards recipes that don’t rely on wheat and dairy, writing up his findings in his new book, River Cottage Light and Easy.
Best of all, his cholesterol is now in the normal range. These days, he eats dairy and wheat, but doesn’t rely on them as ‘go to’ ingredients.
“It’s not just about your health,” he says, “it’s about your wellbeing and sense of self-respect. I think that counts for a huge amount.”
Fancy following suit? Here’s a new Fearnley-Whittingstall recipe to try at home.
(Serves 4) 1.2kg tomatoes (the riper the
better) 4-5 garlic cloves, chopped 3tbsp rapeseed or sunflower oil 75g cashew nuts, plus a few extra,
to finish (optional) 200ml light vegetable stock or
water A pinch of sugar (optional) Sea salt and freshly ground black
pepper Extra virgin hempseed or rapeseed
oil A dusting of paprika (optional) Preheat the oven to 180C/Gas 4.
Cut the tomatoes in half and put them in a large roasting tray (they should fit fairly snugly). Scatter over the chopped garlic, trickle over the oil and season generously with salt and pepper.
Roast for 25 minutes, then scatter the cashews over the tomatoes. Return to the oven for a further 20 minutes until the tomatoes are soft and pulpy and perhaps a little charred in places.
Scrape the tomatoes, cashews and all the garlicky pan juices into a blender. Add the stock or water and blitz to a purée. Pass this through a sieve, which will remove any pips, or stubborn bits of tomato skin.
When you’re ready to serve, reheat gently. You can add a little water if the soup seems very thick or the flavour is too intense. Season with more salt and pepper if needed, and add a pinch of sugar if you think the tomatoey acidity needs tempering slightly.
Ladle into warmed bowls and finish with a swirl of extra virgin oil, plus a few chopped cashews and a dusting of paprika if you like, and a generous sprinkling of pepper.