It’s amazing how different aromas resonate with different people. What some find intoxicating, others abhor. For me, simple joys include the waft of petrichor as you venture outside after a storm, cut grass, lychees, and greenhouses full of tomatoes.
It’s the scent of summer, it smells green. It’s the scent I look for in Olive Oil, above pepper or grass notes it’s the one my nose seeks out. There is nothing quite like the smell of tomatoes in their state of ombre green to red.
This soup pays homage to that sweet green smell. Gently candying tomatoes enhances their natural flavour whilst courgettes are the perfect summer vegetable. An unconventional dash of hot sauce just lifts everything up a notch.
2 tbsp Olive Oil
1 Onion, roughly chopped
1 Celery Stick, roughly chopped
2 Garlic Cloves, minced
2 tbsp Tomato Puree
400g Tin Chopped Tomatoes (the best quality you can afford)
200g Fresh Tomatoes, chopped
1 tbsp Brown Sugar
1 litre Vegetable Stock/ Chicken Stock
2 tsp Hot Sauce
400g Tin Cannellini Beans, drained
100g Broken Spaghetti
2 Courgettes, spiralised or grated
100g Sugar Snap Peas
1 tbsp Fresh Oregano Leaves, torn
Handful Fresh Basil leaves, chiffonade
Salt & Cracked Black Pepper
Parmesan to serve, optional.
1. Heat the oil in a large pan over a medium low heat. Add the onion and celery and cover with a lid. Sweat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally until soft, translucent, and sweet.
2. Meanwhile, sprinkle the brown sugar over the fresh tomatoes and set aside.
3. Add the garlic and sauté for 1-2 minutes more. Add the tomato puree and cook out for 1 minute.
4. Add the chopped tomatoes and stock, bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook for 5 minutes. Add the spaghetti and beans and cook 10 minutes more before adding the sugar snaps.
5. Cook 1-2 minutes and add the hot sauce, herbs, fresh tomatoes, and courgettes. Turn off the heat and stand for 5 minutes just to soften.
6. Taste, adjust the seasoning and serve. Perhaps with some fresh parmesan.