I love a hearty tomato soup, and enjoy adding interesting and flavourful toppings. My love of the moment is creamy salty feta cheese with spicy chorizo sausage, and (of course) fresh herbs. Basil works beautifully with tomatoes, but you can play with the flavour. Fennel and dill, parsley and thyme or chives are also good companion herbs.
TIP: To maximize the flavour from your tomatoes, store them outside the fridge
Serves 6 to 8
6 large tomatoes
1 punnet (about 250gms) cherry tomatoes
4 stalks celery chopped
1 bunch leeks chopped
6 cloves garlic peeled
2 red onions peeled and quartered
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons brown sugar
Sprigs of thyme
Bruised bay leaf
Splash of olive oil
Good quality stock – either chicken or vegetable
Cream (to add after blending and staining) * Optional
Creamy crumbled feta cheese or cheese of your choice (suggestions: brie, parmesan and mozzarella all work well)
Fried-till-crisp chorizo sausage. Pancetta also works well
Herb oil, or pesto
Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
Place all ingredients for the soup in a roasting pan.
Toss to combine, and cover with sugar, oil and balsamic vinegar.
Roast for about forty minutes, or until caramelized.
Remove bay leaf and thyme.
Blend and strain (for a thicker soup, there is no need to strain).
Add stock and/ or cream and adjust seasoning (I personally love a tart sweetness, but the overall taste should be balanced).
Serve topped with cheese, chorizo and herb oil.