News alert! My tomatoes have ripened. Okay it doesn’t warrant such drama but I have managed to produce a considerable amount and I am giddy at the thought of eating this free fruit.
I want the tomatoes to be the star of the show and I came across this amazing looking soup recipe in The Guardian by chef Emily Watkins who mastered her art under the watchful eye of Heston Blumenthal.
It’s basically a tomato soup tarted up with baked goat’s cheese and a herb salad. You won’t break the bank but should impress with this summer starter.
Garden tomato soup, baked goat’s cheese & herb salad
Serves six as a starter
- 2kg ripe, fresh tomatoes
- 100g shallots, peeled
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled
- Olive oil plus 1 knob butter, for frying
- Sea salt and black pepper
- 1 pinch sugar
- 250g goat’s cheese
- 1 egg
- 1 bunch chives, complete with their flowers, if possible
- 1 tbsp chervil, fresh if possible
- 1 tbsp oregano, fresh if possible
- A little lemon juice
- Bring a pan of water to a boil and prepare an ice bath. Score the tops and bottoms of the tomatoes, and drop them a few at a time into the boiling water for 10-15 seconds, then lift out and refresh in the ice bath. Set aside the six best-looking tomatoes for stuffing; peel, deseed and roughly chop the rest.
- Finely slice the shallots and garlic, and in a heavy-based pan sweat them gently in a little oil and a knob of butter until very soft. Add the chopped tomatoes, season with salt, pepper and a pinch of sugar, bring up to a boil and cook for 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and blitz with a stick blender until smooth.
- Turn the six reserved tomatoes on their side, carefully cut off the tops and scoop out the seeds with a teaspoon. Put the cheese in a bowl with the egg, a splash of olive oil, sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Mix well with a spoon, then place in a piping bag and fill the tomatoes. Bake the stuffed tomatoes in an oven preheated to 180C/350F/gas mark 4 for 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, prepare the herbs. Gently pull off the purple chive flowers (discard the flower head) and finely chop the chives. Mix these with the chervil and oregano, then drizzle over a little olive oil and lemon juice. Warm the soup gently – do not let it boil.
- To serve, place a roasted stuffed tomato in the centre of six soup bowls and sprinkle herb salad generously around. Allow your guests to ladle their own soup over the herbs, mixing it all together as they pour.