Tomato, sweetcorn and basil soup with pesto croutons

Yield: 4 servings

Measure Ingredient
3 \N Ears corn or 340g/12oz frozen; kernels defrosted
\N \N ; sweetcorn
1 large Onion; chopped
3 \N Garlic cloves; chopped
3 tablespoons Olive oil
6 \N Fresh anchovy fillets; roughly chopped
\N \N ; (optional, but a
\N \N ; good idea)
2 \N 400 g tins chopped tomatoes
2 tablespoons Tomato puree
\N \N Bouquet garni of thyme; bay leaf and
\N \N ; parsely sprigs tied
\N \N ; with string
1 litre Water or stock
1 \N Handful basil leaves
\N \N Salt and pepper
½ \N Stick French bread; sliced into rounds
\N \N ; about 1cm/ 1/2\"
\N \N ; thick
\N \N Olive oil; 3 tbsp pesto
3 tablespoons Creme fraiche; (optional) , about


1 Preheat the oven to 190c/375f/Gas 5. If using fresh corn, stand the ear upright and slice downwards with a sharp knife to take off the kernels.

2 For the Soup: Gently fry the onion and garlic in olive oil until tender.

Add the anchovies, if using, and fry for a few minutes until collapsed down. Tip in the tomato puree, tomatoes, sweetcorn and bouquet garni. Boil and simmer until reduced by about a third.

3 Add the water or stock, salt and pepper, boil and simmer gently for 10 minutes. Brush both sides of the bread slices with olive oil and bake on a baking sheet for 20 minutes, turning occasionally, until golden.

4 Keep warm until needed, spread with pesto and top each with creme fraiche if using. Shred the basil finely before serving.

5 When the soup is ready, remove the bouquet garni and liquidize half for a slightly chunky, knobbly texture or the lot for a smooth(ish) texture.

6 Check the seasoning, reheat and stir in the shredded basil. Serve at once with the pesto croutons in a bowl so people can float their own on top if they want, or keep them separate.

Converted by MC_Buster.

Recipe by: Sophie Grigson's Herbs Converted by MM_Buster v2.0l.

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