Romany soup

  • serves 6
  • Easy

The best summer soup recipe. This light soup is ideal for a starter or for lunch and is best served with pickled cucumber and a drizzle of soured cream.



  • cucumbe r ½
  • salt flakes 1 level tsp
  • green pepper 1
  • vine tomatoes 10 medium
  • cumin seeds ½ tsp
  • coriander seeds 1½ tsp
  • olive oil
  • red onion 1 medium, coarsely chopped
  • garlic 4 fat cloves, coarsely chopped
  • smoked hot paprika 1 level tsp
  • ground white pepper a pinch
  • red wine vinegar 1½ tbsp
  • stale bread ½ a slice
  • soured cream or olive oil to serve


  • Step 1

    Peel and very thinly slice the cucumber. Add ½ tsp salt and leave in a colander to drip over the sink.

  • Step 2

    Turn on a small gas flame and put the green pepper directly on top of it. Turn every now and then until the skin is well charred all over. You can also do this under a hot grill. Set aside and allow to cool.

  • Step 3

    Cut out the core of the tomatoes and score their bottoms in a criss-cross with a knife. Put in a bowl and cover with boiling water. Leave for about 30 seconds, then tip away the water and remove their skins. Leave to one side.

  • Step 4

    Put a large saucepan over a medium heat and toast the seeds until their smell pleases the nose. Now add 4 tbsp olive oil, then onion and garlic and fry gently for 10 minutes or so until soft but not coloured.

  • Step 5

    Break the tomatoes open into a sieve on top of a bowl and pull out the seeds into the sieve. Leave the tomato seeds to drain over a bowl and throw the broken open tomatoes into the onions and garlic.

  • Step 6

    Peel and de-seed the pepper without rinsing it under water as this will wash away the charred taste. Tear into strips and throw in the pan, too. Add the juice that has dripped from the sieved tomatoes, with help from a little pressing. Add 150ml water, salt, paprika, white pepper, vinegar and crumbled stale bread. Put a lid in the pan and simmer gently for 35 minutes.

  • Step 7

    Remove the lid and blitz with a blender until totally smooth.

  • Step 8

    With your hands, wring out any remaining water from the cucumber.

  • Step 9

    Serve the soup in bowls topped with a slash of soured cream and olive oil, with a small pile of salted cucumbers in the middle.

Nutritional Information

  • Carbs 9.5g
  • Protein 2.6g
  • Fat 8.4g
  • Salt 0.44g
  • Fibre 2.4g