This spicy tomato soup recipe by Michael Caines is served with a vibrant basil oil for a delightfully aromatic finish. The soup is made from dehydrated tomatoes for a super-intense result, finished with a fresh tomato concasse and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar.
For the basil oil
- 30g basil leaves
- 250ml extra virgin olive oil
For the spicy tomato soup
- 3kg plum tomatoes
- 100g onion, diced
- 6 garlic cloves, chopped
- 2 bay leaves
- 5g thyme
- 1/2 red chilli, deseeded and finely diced
- 2 red peppers, deseeded and diced
- 10g basil
- vegetable stock, as needed
- olive oil
For the tomato concasse
- 4 plum tomatoes
- balsamic vinegar
- basil leaves
- Begin by making the basil oil. Place the basil leaves and olive oil into a saucepan and heat to 80°C. Pour into a blender, blend for 1–2 minutes then pass through a fine sieve. The oil can be straight from the blender, or for a clear green oil, pass again through a double layer of muslin cloth or a coffee filter overnight in the fridge.
- For the dehydrated tomatoes, weigh out 2kg of the tomatoes and quarter them (set aside the remaining 1kg). Season with salt and pepper and place in a dehydrator for 24 hours. If you don’t have a dehydrator, you can cook them at 80°C in a fan-assisted oven for 4 hours.
- To make the soup, sweat the onions and garlic in the olive oil with a pinch of salt, ensuring the onions do not colour in the pan. While this is happening, chop the remaining 1kg tomatoes.
- Add the bay leaf, thyme and chilli, cook for a further 3 minutes then add the peppers, basil, chopped tomatoes and dehydrated tomatoes.
- Cook out for an hour, stirring from time to time and adding vegetable stock to make sure it doesn’t dry out – you need enough liquid to simmer away nicely. The idea is to soften the ingredients in the pan and really concentrate the final flavour
- While the soup is simmering away, make the tomato concasse. Cut the remaining 4 fresh plum tomatoes into a fine dice and set aside, or create a classic concasse by making a shallow cross cut at the end of the tomato and remove the core at the opposite end. Lower gently into the boiling water then plunge directly into iced water after 15–20 seconds – as soon as the skin starts to come away from the flesh.
- Strain the tomatoes and remove the skin before cutting the tomatoes into quarters lengthways. Remove the seeds and dice into 0.5cm pieces, season with a little salt and pepper and set aside.
- When the soup is ready, transfer the soup to high-powered blender and blitz until super smooth, adjusting the consistency with a little extra vegetable stock and seasoning to taste if required. Pass through a fine strainer into and new saucepan to reheat.
- To serve, pour some soup into each bowl and garnish with the concasse, basil oil, a few drops of balsamic and some basil leaves.
Recipe courtesy of greatbritishchefs.com