Serves 4 to 6
- • 1 garlic bulb, top sliced off
- • 1 large carrot, peeled and chopped
- • 2 celery stalks chopped
- • 2 to 3 tbsp olive oil for drizzling
- • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- • handful torn basil leaves for garnish
- • 500 ml fresh chicken stock
- • 1 tub (200 g) crème fraîche
- • salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 375° F.
- Cut the tomatoes in half and place them cut side up in a roasting tray. Slice the top off the garlic bulb and arrange it with the celery and carrots, between the tomatoes. Drizzle with the olive oil and the vinegar, season, then cover loosely with foil and roast for about 1 hour.
- Squeeze the garlic cloves from the bulb into a food processor. Tip in everything else from the tray, including the juice. Add most of the basil leaves, reserving a few for garnish and blitz to a smooth consistency. Pour into a saucepan, add the chicken stock, season and heat through for a few minutes.
- Serve with a dollop of crème fraîche (if using), a drizzle of olive oil and a final grind of black pepper. Garnish with the reserved basil leaves.
Tip Keep the hinged shell of the first mussel you eat to use as a pincer for eating the rest.
She is married to one of Britain’s most famous chefs, Bake Off judge Paul Hollywood, but now her own star is on the rise. Alex Hollywood’s recipe posts have won her a large fan following on Twitter, and she’ll gain even more devotees with her beautiful first cookbook, My Busy Kitchen. The recipes are easy to follow, but the results are anything but boring as Alex integrates a few twists to keep things fresh and unique. — Chris Daniels
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