Spicy tomato soup with basil oil


This spicy tomato soup recipe by Michael Caines is served with a vibrant basil oil for a delightfully aromatic finish. The soup is made from dehydrated tomatoes for a super-intense result, finished with a fresh tomato concasse and drizzle of balsamic vinegar.

First published in 2017




Spicy tomato soup

Tomato concasse

Basil oil

To garnish


  • Food processor or blender
  • Muslin cloth or a coffee filter
  • Chinois


Begin by making the basil oil. Place the basil leaves and olive oil into a saucepan and heat to 80°C. Pour into a blender, blend for 1–2 minutes then pass through a fine sieve. The oil can be straight from the blender, or for a clear green oil, pass again through a double layer of muslin cloth or a coffee filter overnight in the fridge
For the dehydrated tomatoes, weigh out 2kg of the tomatoes and quarter them (set aside the remaining 1kg). Season with salt and pepper and place in a dehydrator for 24 hours. If you don't have a dehydrator, you can cook them at 80°C in a fan-assisted oven for 4 hours
To make the soup, sweat the onions and garlic in the olive oil with a pinch of salt, ensuring the onions do not colour in the pan. While this is happening, chop the remaining 1kg tomatoes
Add the bay leaf, thyme and chilli, cook for a further 3 minutes then add the peppers, basil, chopped tomatoes and dehydrated tomatoes
Cook out for an hour, stirring from time to time and adding vegetable stock to make sure it doesn't dry out – you need enough liquid to simmer away nicely. The idea is to soften the ingredients in the pan and really concentrate the final flavour
  • vegetable stock, as needed
While the soup is simmering away, make the tomato concasse. Cut the remaining 4 fresh plum tomatoes into a fine dice and set aside, or create a classic concasse by making a shallow cross cut at the end of the tomato and remove the core at the opposite end. Lower gently into the boiling water then plunge directly into iced water after 15–20 seconds – as soon as the skin starts to come away from the flesh
Strain the tomatoes and remove the skin before cutting the tomatoes into quarters lengthways. Remove the seeds and dice into 0.5cm pieces, season with a little salt and pepper and set aside
When the soup is ready, transfer the soup to high-powered blender and blitz until super smooth, adjusting the consistency with a little extra vegetable stock and seasoning to taste if required. Pass through a fine strainer into and new saucepan to reheat
To serve, pour some soup into each bowl and garnish with the concasse, basil oil, a few drops of balsamic and some basil leaves

Michael Caines is one of the most respected chefs in the UK. With his own Michelin-starred country house hotel Lympstone Manor, he is writing the next chapter in his illustrious career.

Get in touch

Please sign in or register to send a comment to Great British Chefs.

You may also like

Load more