Apologies for the odd sounding title, but it’s the best thing describes this soup.
I have seen recipes a plenty for roasted tomato soup, but the tomatoes in this were gently “poached” in a fruity olive oil before the other ingredients were added.
It is a big flavoured soup, so its not for the faint hearted.
Neither is an exact science – ingredients are approximate.
There are no chef touches to this – no de-seeding, skinning or sieving out of debris before serving:. What you see is what you get here – honest, rustic and good to eat.
As the family are not big on bread, I have suggested serving it with thin slivers of toasted Arab bread, and a mound of sticky, saffron rice.
One final thing before I finally get started here: A winter rendition of this dish would certainly require the addition of some sugar to soften the winter acidity of the tomatoes – here is is not needed.
AN ASSORTMENT OF TOMATOES – CHOPPED ROUGHLY
100 ML OF GOOD, FRUITY OLIVE OIL (MORE IF NECESSARY)
6-8 CLOVES OF GARLIC, CRUSHED
A FEW GENEROUS SLOSHES OF BALSAMIC VINEGAR.
ONE RED CHILLI – MORE IF YOU ARE A HEAT JUNKIE – CHOPPED AND DE-SEEDED.
SALT TO TASTE.
ARAB OR PITA BREAD, TOASTED AND SLICED THINLY
STICKY WHITE RICE, FLAVOURED WITH A PINCH OF SAFFRON
1. Put a shallow, thick based pan on the heat to gently warm – I use a Spanish cazuela for this – it looks a bit like a two handled frying pan, with deeper than normal sides.
2. Add the olive oil to very warm slowly.
3. Add the garlic and swirl around in the pan with a spatula – Under no circumstances let it brown.
4. Add the chopped tomatoes – the oil should come about half way up the sides of them, and they should cover the pan in a single layer. Multi layers will not give the desired taste to this dish. Pour in more oil if needed.
5. Slowly let the tomatoes “poach” in the oil, with the gentlest of heat – some will lose their skins, others will break down – this is what should happen.
6. Let them cook for about 15-20 minutes, and then add the other ingredients, save the salt which should be added at the end to adjust the flavour.
7. Cover the pan and let the mixture bubble away for another 20-30 minutes, until the mixture is well broken down.
8. Remove the pan from the heat and liquidize with a hand blender.
9. The oil will amalgamate thoroughly with the tomatoes, so there will be no unsightly film on the top.
10. Serve, as suggested with toasted Arab or pita bread, and a mound of sticky white rice flavoured with a little saffron – If you have none, do not substitute with turmeric, as it is too bitter for this dish.