Vampire Blood Tomato Soup and Creepy Sandwich Dippers

  • Preparation Time20 mins
  • Cooking Time60 mins
  • Serves8
  • DifficultyMedium

For the vampire blood tomato soup

3 tbsp olive oil
1/2 fennel bulb, chopped
1/2 large onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, smashed
1 1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp fennel seed
1/8 to 1/4 tsp crushed red chilli flakes, optional
1 (800g) tin plum tomatoes, preferably San Marzano
475ml homemade vegetable stock or low-salt tinned
475ml tomato juice
6 basil leaves, torn
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
Fresh ground black pepper, to taste
Muenster sammies, recipe follows

For the muenster sammies with apple jam

16 (9cm square) slices Westphalian Pumpernickel, or other thin black bread
160g apple jam
8 slices muenster cheese
8 slices yellow cheddar cheese
Optional garnishes:
Gherkin rounds
Fennel fronds
Spanish olives with pimentos
For the vampire blood tomato soup:
1) Heat olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add fennel, onion, garlic, salt, fennel seed and crushed chilli flakes, if using, and cook until vegetables soften and brown slightly, about 5 mins.

2) Drain and reserve juice from the tomatoes. Crush tomatoes gently with your hands. Add the tomatoes, increase heat to high, and cook until they begin to brown slightly, about 5 mins.

3) Add the reserved tomato juice, vegetable broth, tomato juice, and basil leaves. Bring to the boil, stir, reduce heat to medium low, cover and cook until vegetables are cooked through and soup reduces and thickens, about 30 mins.

4) Remove pot from stove and puree the soup in batches, with an immersion, regular blender, or food processor. Stir in lemon juice and season with pepper to taste. Serve.

For the muenster sammies with apple jam:
Special equipment: biscuit cutters (pumpkins, ghosts, black cat, bats and witches), optional

1) Toast bread until slightly crisp. Spread one side of each slice of bread with apple jam. Layer the cheese over the apple jam, top with remaining slice of bread. Cut out as desired. Garnish as desired.

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