Yotam Ottolenghi's recipes for tomato soup three ways | Food (2024)

Yotam Ottolenghi recipes

There’s tomato soup, and then there are these three versions: a rich, gingery gazpacho, a robust tomato and aubergine soup, and a classic cream of tomato soup with buttered onions and pasta

Yotam Ottolenghi


Sat 12 Sep 2020 09.30 BST

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The thing about the end of summer is that although the earlier sunsets and cooler air signal a clear shift in the seasons, some of our favourite fruits are certainly not yet ready to move on. Sticky-sweet figs, juicy plums and blistering tomatoes are begging to be eaten right now, as if they’ve been slow-cooked to perfection in the residual heat of summer. These end-of-season fruits are now in their prime, with tomatoes leading the way. So make good use of them – you won’t see them again for another year, after all. And there’s no better way of doing that than by making soup.

Cream of tomato soup with buttered onions and orecchiette

This tastes like a homemade version of the Heinz classic. The habanero adds a hot, fruity and smoky complexity that I love, but remove it entirely if you want to make the dish child-friendly, and use only half if you don’t like too much heat.

Prep 15 min
Cook 1 hr 10 min
Serves 4

60g unsalted butter
90ml olive oil
3 onions
, peeled and finely chopped (540g net weight)
Salt and black pepper
2 large garlic cloves
, peeled and crushed
400g sweet red cherry tomatoes (ie, datterini or similar)
4 tbsp tomato paste
2 tbsp (10g) basil leaves
, roughly torn
1 dried habanero chilli (optional – see introduction)
500ml vegetable or chicken stock (or water)
200g orecchiette
2 tbsp double cream
(or more, to taste)

Put the butter, three tablespoons of oil, the onions and a teaspoon of salt in a large saute pan on a medium heat and cook, stirring often, for 18-20 minutes, until soft and deeply golden brown (you don’t want the onions to burn or become crisp, so lower the heat as necessary).

Transfer two-thirds of the fried onions to a bowl with the remaining three tablespoons of oil, stir to combine and set aside until you’re ready to serve.

Return the pan of remaining onions to a medium heat, add the garlic and fry, stirring, for two minutes. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, basil, habanero (if using) and two teaspoons of salt, and fry, stirring often, for seven minutes. Increase the heat to medium-high, add the stock, 300ml water and a good grind of pepper, and bring up to a simmer. Turn down the heat to medium, cook for 12 minutes, then lift out the habanero (if using) and squeeze to remove any liquid. Finely chop the habanero, then stir into the bowl of reserved fried onions.

Leave the soup to cool for five to 10 minutes, so it’s not super-hot, then transfer to a blender and blitz until completely smooth.

Meanwhile, cook the orecchiette in a big pot of salted boiling water until al dente, then drain and divide between four bowls. Divide the soup across the four bowls, spoon the cream on top, then scatter over the reserved fried onion mix and serve.

Gingery tomato gazpacho

This gazpacho is made super-creamy thanks to the toasted pine nuts and ginger-infused oil. Use the best-quality, in-season tomatoes you can find and afford.

Prep 25 min
Cook 30 min
Chill 1 hr+
Serves 4 as a starter

40g fresh ginger, peeled and julienned
6 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
150ml olive oil
1 tsp paprika
Salt and black pepper
1½ tbsp (5g) fresh coriander
, finely chopped
1kg vine tomatoes
50g pine nuts
, very well toasted
½ red pepper, stem and seeds removed, flesh roughly chopped (90g net weight)
½ red onion, peeled and roughly chopped (60g net weight)
1 mild red chilli, roughly chopped, seeds and all
1 tsp cumin seeds, toasted and finely crushed in a mortar
220g cucumber (about ⅔ of regular one), peeled, halved and seeds removed

Put the ginger, garlic and oil in a small saute pan on a medium-low heat. Cook for 15 minutes, or just until the oil begins to bubble and the ginger and garlic have softened without taking on much colour (turn down the heat if necessary). Transfer half of the solids and oil to a bowl and set aside (you’ll use this in the gazpacho base later), then return the rest to a medium-high heat and add the paprika and an eighth of a teaspoon of salt. Once the mix is bubbling, cook for just 30 seconds, then turn off the heat and leave to cool completely. Once cool, stir through the coriander.

Meanwhile, bring a large saucepan of water to a boil. Core the tomatoes and score a cross into the base of each one using a small, sharp knife. Blanch the tomatoes for about 90 seconds, until the skins just start to loosen and pull away from the flesh. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the tomatoes and to a bowl and, when cool enough to handle, but while they’re still a little warm, peel the tomatoes and discard the skins.

Quarter the tomatoes, then put them into a blender with the toasted pine nuts, red pepper, onion, chilli, the reserved ginger-and-garlic oil, a teaspoon and a half of salt and a good grind of pepper. Roughly chop half the cucumber and add to the blender, then blitz until completely smooth. Transfer to a large bowl or container, and refrigerate for at least an hour, or longer if time allows, until very cold.

Divide the chilled soup between four bowls. Finely dice the remaining cucumber into 1cm cubes and scatter on top. Finally, spoon over the reserved ginger-garlic-and-coriander oil and serve cold.

Roast tomato and aubergine soup with anchovy aïoli

This soup is a meal in itself. I’ve used fried garlic and anchovy oil twice – first to flavour the broth, then to make a punchy sauce that brings everything together wonderfully.

Prep 25 min
Cook 1 hr
Serves 4

2 aubergines (550g), trimmed
350g datterini (or cherry) tomatoes
2 large red chillies
, roughly chopped into quarters (seeds and pith removed if you prefer less heat)
100ml olive oil
Salt and black pepper
2½ tbsp tomato paste
1 litre chicken stock
1 tbsp lemon juice
100g good-quality bread croutons
, homemade or shop-bought, to serve
1 tbsp fresh oregano leaves, finely chopped, to serve
1 tbsp fresh parsley leaves, finely chopped, to serve

For the aïoli
5 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
8 anchovy fillets, drained and finely chopped
90ml olive oil
50ml sunflower oil
1 egg yolk
1 tbsp lemon juice

Heat the oven to 230C (210C fan)/450F/gas 8.

Use a vegetable peeler to peel away strips of the aubergine skin from top to bottom, leaving them with alternating stripes of black skin and white flesh, a bit like a zebra, then cut the aubergines into 3cm chunks.

Put the tomatoes, aubergines, chillies and oil on a large oven tray lined with greaseproof paper and season with a teaspoon of salt and plenty of pepper. Toss very well to coat, then roast for 45 minutes, stirring once halfway, until the aubergines are a dark golden brown, then leave to cool.

Meanwhile, get on with everything else. For the aïoli, put the first three ingredients and half a teaspoon of salt in a medium saucepan on a low heat. Cook gently, stirring occasionally, for 12 minutes, until the garlic and anchovies are soft and can be mashed with the back of a spoon; take care that the oil does not get too hot, or the garlic will catch and burn– if it starts to bubble too much, just take the pan off the heat to cool down a little, then return to the heat.

Transfer 60g of the garlic and anchovy oil mixture to a measuring jug, add the sunflower oil and leave to cool.

Return the pan with the remaining garlic and anchovy oil mixture to a medium-high heat, then add the tomato paste and fry for three minutes, until fragrant. Add the stock, lemon juice and a teaspoon and a quarter of salt, and leave to simmer gently on a medium heat for 15 minutes.

Now finish the aïoli. Put the egg yolk, lemon juice and an eighth of a teaspoon of salt in the small bowl of a food processor, then, with the motor running, very slowly start pouring in the cooled garlic and anchovy oil mixture, until the mix emulsifies and thickens to a mayonnaise-like consistency. Transfer to a small bowl.

Divide the roast aubergine mix between four bowls, then top with the hot broth, the croutons and a spoonful of aïoli. Finish with the herbs and a good grind of pepper, and serve straight away.


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Yotam Ottolenghi's recipes for tomato soup three ways | Food (2024)


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