Wednesday, August 17, 2011


I'm not sure why but I've been obsessed with red food lately. Tomatoes, strawberries, capsicum, chilli - I've been craving them all, but tomatoes in particular. Hello lycopene!

My folks came over on the weekend for lunch and it was the perfect opportunity to try out a soup recipe I've been eyeing off for a while, featuring you guessed it - tomatoes, and to get some cheese and antipasto plate action happening. Nothing quite like leisurely Sunday feasting.

Rustic Tomato Soup
Adapted from Jamie's 30 Minute Meals
Serves 4-6

1kg ripe cherry tomatoes on the vine
4 large truss or heirloom tomatoes
1 fresh red chilli, or chilli flakes
4 cloves garlic
1 ciabatta loaf
2 small red onions
4 Tbs balsamic vinegar
a small bunch of fresh basil
some shaved parmesan to serve
olive oil
pepper and salt

Set your oven to 220°C and put a large saucepan on to low heat.

Pull the cherry tomatoes off the vines (but don't worry too much if there are a few green tops left on), then quarter the larger tomatoes and put them all in together on a baking tray. Crush in the garlic along with the halved, deseeded and chopped chilli, drizzle with olive oil and season. Toss everything around together then put on the top shelf of the oven for about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile roughly slice up the ciabatta loaf and put the bread on another baking tray. Drizzle with olive oil and put in the bottom shelf of the oven. Keep an eye on the bread periodically to make sure it doesn't get too brown.

Now peel and chop your onions and put them in a hot saucepan with oil and a good pinch of salt. Turn the heat up and leave to soften, stirring occasionally.  After five or so minutes, stir in the 4 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar and let it all reduce down.

Once the tomatoes are done, take the tray out of oven and pour everything in with the onions. Throw in the bunch of basil and then blend everything to a rustic consistency. Ladle into bowls and serve with some parmesan on top and your crunchy ciabatta croutons.

We demolished a fairly large antipasto plate before this and I was mistaken in thinking this soup would be a light main but trust me, it's a surprisingly full bodied little number.  My Dad claimed it was like a hot gazpacho and I'm tempted to try a cooled down version of this recipe in the summer months.


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