I’m hooked on the new BBC cookery programme The Delicious Miss Dahl, where the jaw-droppingly beautiful Sophie Dahl cooks up rustic dishes and bats her big cartoon eyes at us over the hob of a very gorgeous kitchen* decorated with shabby chic. Sometimes she goes a bit twee and wistful, reciting poetry while gazing out of a window, but altogether you sense that she’s just a lovely person with impeccable artistic credentials (her grandfather was children’s author Roald Dahl, don’t you know) and a wicked sense of humour. I didn’t think I was going to like the programme at all – I worried it would be really irritating and that I’d want to stab Sophie in the eye. But she’s just too nice! And boy, even though she is a 7ft towering giraffe of a supermodel, she loves to eat – you sense that she really tucks into the food off camera instead of sipping a herbal tea and having an anxiety cigarette. Love ‘er!
I made her roasted tomato soup at the weekend – it doesn’t contain cream, but tastes so rich and smooth that after a bowlful you feel as though you’ve eaten something quite decadent. It’s very easy to make. I’ve added a few chillies to spice things up…
Roasted Tomato Soup, based on the recipe by Sophie Dahl.
You will need:
2kg ripe organic tomatoes (if possible use UK-grown)
2 large red onions, quartered
Several sprigs fresh thyme
1 large bulb garlic cut in half horizontally
2 red chillies, sliced vertically (optional)
Extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper
Chilli infused extra virgin olive oil (optional)
Preheat the oven to 190C. Cut all tomatoes in quarters and lay out in a couple of oiled roasting trays. Add the onions, garlic, chillies, thyme and season with salt. Drizzle across a generous amount of extra virgin olive oil. Roast in the oven for about 35 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly, remove the thyme sprigs. Press the soft garlic cloves out from their skins with a fork (discard the skins) then whizz up the tomato/onion/chilli/garlic in a blender until smooth.
Taste and season if necessary with salt and pepper. Serve drizzled with chilli-infused olive oil and a hunk of bread. If you’d had the flu recently (like moi) this will make you feel really good!
* Apparently the gorgeous house where the series is shot is in north London and is for sale for a cool £1.45 million!