Start your vegetable stock by adding whatever veg you have to hand with a handful of herbs and spices to a pan. Boil and simmer for 20 minutes. Strain off the solids and keep back the stock
Meanwhile roast the tomatoes whole or halved if they're very large, and garlic, skin-on in a very hot oven or grill, on a skillet or over a naked flame (see notes above)
When the garlic and tomato skins are blackened wrap them in a kitchen towel over foil or plastic film and let them sweat for 20-30 minutes
Slice the onion and soften in a little olive oil with the finely chopped rosemary and the thyme. Adding a little salt stops then over-browning.
Skin the tomatoes and garlic. Slice the tomatoes thickly and the garlic very thinly. Add them to the onions, along with the paprika and cook for 5-10 minutes or until softened through
Add the tomatoes and other ingredients to the stock, or vice versa, season with salt and black pepper to taste, bring to the boil and simmer for 15-20 minutes
Top and tail the figs and cut them in 4 or 6, depending on their size, and sautée in a little butter or olive oil to keep the dish vegan
serve the soup in wide soup bowls topped with sautéed figs. Traditionally some toasted or shallow-fried slices of yesterday's bread are added. I prefer a couple of medallions or soft goats' cheese or a dollop of thick soya cream and a few chopped chives with fresh crusty wholemeal bread on the side