Roasted vegetables are a passion of mine. Soup is another. And none more so than tomato. I got bored with the usual traffic-stop red of regular tomatoes and thought a bright, sunny yellow would be a slightly unexpected and fun change. Hubby thought it was pumpkin soup and was slightly aghast at the ribbon of balsamic vinegar in his glass, until he took a sip. Then he was all smiles, and having drained his dry, asked for another shot.
Normally, when roasting just about any vegetable, I would throw in enough garlic to make a vampire blanch beyond pale, and shower the tray of olive oil bathed veggies with either fresh or dried oregano. That's the way to go if you want rich, robust, in-your-face flavour.
This time however, I wanted something fresher, lighter, where the delicate, sweet taste of yellow tomatoes would ring through, clear as a bell, with just a back note of subtly woodsy thyme. Hence the short list of ingredients, minus the usual trio of garlic, robust olive oil and almost floral oregano. I would definitely recommend fresh thyme here, if you can get it, as dried thyme is stronger and tends to taste slightly resinous - not the note I'm after for a delicate and easily unbalanced soup, such as this one.
Use any neutral flavoured oil and don't go overboard with the thyme. Balsamic vinegar I feel, is a must as yellow tomatoes, while very pretty, tend to lack the bite of their rosier cousins. The goat cheese toasts were a complete delight in themselves, but still subtle enough not to overshadow the soup. You may need more than just two per person, if hubby's and the boys' reactions were anything to go by.
I served this warm but you could have it chilled, in which case season generously with salt as the cold will blunt the already subtle flavours of this mild and lovely soup.
Prep 10 mins Cook 15 mins Serves 3 - 4
350 g (1 punnet) yellow cherry tomatoes, rinsed and thoroughly drained
2 small sprigs fresh thyme, discard stalks or 1/3 level tsp dried thyme
1/2 Tbsp light vegetable oil(sunflower, soy, grapeseed etc)
1/2 tsp sea salt or to taste
2/3 - 1 cup hot, light chicken or vegetable stock (adjust according to preference)
Feta or your favourite goat cheese, desired amount
2 rounds baguette per person
A slug balsamic vinegar per serving
A sprig fresh sweet basil per serving
A twist of black pepper per serving
Preheat oven at 210 C (400 F).
Combine tomatoes, thyme, oil and salt and mix thoroughly and transfer to a small baking tray. Roast for 15 minutes, by which time tomato skins would have split and tomatoes are just beginning to char in places.
Remove from oven and cool slightly. Liquidise tomatoes and any roasting juices and herbs using an immersion blender. Add the stock for a thinner soup, if desired. Strain soup through a sieve if you object to the fine bits of tomato skin. Set soup aside, keeping it warm, and prepare toast.
Cut rounds of baguette (2 per person or more if you like) and top with as much crumbled feta or goat cheese as you like. Toast until edges of baguette are browned and crisp and cheese begins to colour. Remove from toaster oven.
Divide soup evenly amongst bowls, plates or glasses. Garnish each serving with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar, a sprig of basil and a twist of black pepper. Serve with the cheese topped toast.
Note : For the stock, I used stock granules dissolved in boiling water. Use home made if you have it or canned or boxed, ready-to-use commercial stock. This soup is also delicious served chilled, in which case I would omit the goat cheese toasts.
In : Soups
Tags: "first course recipes" soup tomatoes lowfat light "quick and easy recipes" "denise fletcher recipes" "goat cheese"
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