Friday, February 16, 2018

What’s on the Menu this week. Essence of Tomato Soup

Tomatoes are in season. This is not quite Christophe Dehosse's amazing tomato soup (illustrated) which we wrote about this week, but you can add what he did and make this more complex. If you use good flavourful tomatoes like Roma or huge beef tomatoes, you will capture the flavour. This cold soup, which does not require any cooking, is a light starter for 3 or 4 people, not complicated to make and looks very pretty. There are lovely ripe tomatoes in the markets at the moment

1 kilo of ripe red tomatoes, beef or Roma - 1 small clove of garlic - 1 tspn each of fresh marjoram, basil and parsley - salt and pepper - 1 or 2 extra tomatoes - 10 cm fresh cucumber - 1 dessertspoon chopped chives, - some torn basil - a few micro herbs - good green extra virgin olive oil

Cut a small cross in the top of each tomato. Drop them into a litre of boiling water for just a minute or two, then remove them and put into iced water. You can then easily remove their skins, their cores and their pips. Liquidise the remaining tomato flesh with the chopped garlic and the herbs. Then put them into a muslin or very fine mesh sieve or jelly bag to drip, and you will have essence of tomato, which you will then need to season gently with salt and pepper. You can make this a day in advance and chill. Skin, core and deseed the extra tomato and cut the flesh into tiny 1 cm squares. Do the same with some slices of cucumber; you can leave the skin on. You only need about 2 to 3 table spoons of each. When ready to serve, adjust the seasoning and add the tomato and cucumber squares. Top with the chives and other herbs and a drop or two of good green olive oil. You can also add some cold cooked or ceviche peeled prawns. Do not use raw, it is too dangerous.  If you want to stretch this further, add some clear sieved vegetable stock

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