Food & Recipes

Roasted Tomato Soup with Onion Flower Pesto

Ever left your homegrown onions go to seed?  You should!  Not only do the flower heads look gorgeous in a vase they can also be used in soups, salads and pesto’s or whatever dish you want to add a light, garlicky flavour to.


For the soup:

6 good sized ripe tomatoes

olive oil

fresh thyme

sea salt and black pepper


1 white onion, sliced

half clove garlic, chopped

4-5 sun dried tomatoes in oil

400g tin chopped tomatoes

500ml vegetable stock

sea salt and black pepper

For the pesto:

1 medium sized onion flower, blooms separated from head, a few reserved for garnish

handful of mixed seeds and nuts (roughly 100g)

half a clove garlic, sliced

small bunch basil, roughly torn

2 tbsp olive oil (or oil from sun dried tomato jar)

sea salt

fresh ground black pepper


First quarter the tomatoes, lay on a baking tray and sprinke over a few stalks of thyme then drizzle with olive oil and season well with salt and pepper.  Roast in a hot oven for 10-15 minutes until soft and starting to break down.


Meanwhile make your pesto by roughly chopping your nuts (I used a mix of cashews, almonds and pine nuts but you can use whatever you fancy.  Walnuts and pecans work well) then adding to a dry frying pan along with the seeds and heating until slightly coloured and they start to release their oils, but keep them moving so they don’t burn.


Add the toasted seeds and nuts to a pestle and mortor (if you don’t have one use a small food processor) with the garlic, salt and pepper and grind until almost completely broken down.  Add in your basil, onion flower blooms and the oil and pound again until a rough pesto comes together.  Add a little more oil if you want a looser mix and adjust the seasoning to taste.

For the soup soften the onion in a little olive oil along with the garlic, a good pinch of salt, pepper and sundried tomatoes, then add in the roasted tomatoes, tinned tomatoes and stock.  Bring to the boil for only a few minutes then remove from the heat.



Blend the soup, taste for seasoning, then serve with a spoon of the pesto on top and garnish with onion flowers.


The pesto is also good with some fresh, lemony goats cheese on crostini or stirred through tagliatelle along with free range, organic chicken.




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