Fresh tomato soup

SOURCE This recipe is a Seven Acres original, designed by Susan to use up tomatoes that were too ripe to make it to the next market day in top condition.
Serves 4 as main course, 6-8 as a starter
Time (approx): preparation 20m, cooking 45m (without pre-roasting) or 1h 15m (with)

Use ripe tomatoes, and if at all possible Seven Acres vegetable stock concentrate rather than stock cubes — this is such a simple soup that it does make a difference.
It is really two soups, as the version with chilli is quite distinctive, even though it requires only a mild chilli pepper.
Pre-roasting the tomatoes gives some extra oomph to the soup, though it also adds an extra 30m to the cooking time so mightn’t suit if you are in a hurry. (Vegetable soups in general benefit from pre-roasting suitable chunky vegetables — onions, potatoes, tomatoes, squash, fennel etc.)

! or 2 tbsp cooking oil
20g (c.5 cloves) garlic*
1.5kg ripe tomatoes
1 whole mild red chilli**
A tbsp or so of oil
1L water
6 tsp Seven Acres vegetable stock concentrate***
* Or 40g onion
** Optional
*** Or 3 tsp of good-quality bouillon powder or a stock cube.
Knife with a sharp blade
Plastic or wooden spoon or spatula for stirring
[Optional: large roasting tin]
Large saucepan
Blender or food processor
Measuring jug.
A hob or other direct heat source for cooking; space to chop. An oven if you want to roast the tomatoes first.
Advance preparation
None required, though if you really want the best flavour, roast the tomatoes for 30m at 200℃ before continuing.
Preparing the Vegetables
Slice the garlic after first cutting the base off the clove and removing the outer skin.
Peel and chop the garlic (or onion).
If using the chilli, slice it in half lengthwise, discard the seeds, and chop the flesh.
Chop the tomatoes.
If you haven’t pre-roasted them, and are a true perfectionist, you can blanch and peel the tomatoes before chopping, but ordinary mortals can skip this step.
Cooking the meal
Cook garlic or onion in oil for a minute or two in large saucepan.
Add tomatoes, chilli if using, and stock concentrate; cook over low heat until the tomatoes are completely mushy (about 30m).
Add water, bring back to the boil, reduce heat and simmer for about 15m.
Puree the soup using the blender; if not using a handheld blender, let it cool a bit, then process in batches and return to the saucepan and bring back to the boil when in is all done.
Suggested accompaniment
If eating as a main meal, this needs little other than a good rich brown or soda bread. If you want to push the boat out, you could always spread the bread with some soft goat’s cheese.