I’m sure you’ve all made tomato soup before but adding the beetroot gives such a great viscosity and colour. While I’ve added a variety of herbs, I do this simply because I have them all to hand and yes, they do add flavour, but even one herb from your garden would make a difference. If you decide to include the mozzarella then it’s definitely a meal in itself and best served cold, but resist the urge to cut it into slices; it really tastes so much better when you tear off pieces of mozzarella and finish with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil if you feel so inclined. And guess who would? Without the mozzarella it’s still a great soup, hot or cold.
- Yield: 2 Servings
- 0.33 cup (80 ml) extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
- 3 brown onions, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1.5 kg ripe tomatoes, coarsely chopped
- 1 beetroot, peeled and cut into chunks
- 4 sprigs thyme
- 2 fresh bay leaves, crushed for maximum flavour
- 2 sprigs rosemary
- Sea salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 150 g fresh mozzarella (optional)
- 6 cherry tomatoes, quartered
- Small basil leaves, to serve
- Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for 10 minutes or until translucent but not coloured. Add the garlic and cook for another 2 minutes or until fragrant. Add the tomato, beetroot and herbs, then season to taste. Reduce the heat to as low as possible and cook, stirring occasionally, for 25 minutes or until thickened.
- Remove and discard the herbs. Transfer the soup to a blender and process until smooth. Strain through a fine sieve into a bowl and stand until cool. Refrigerate overnight for maximum flavour.
- Just before serving, stir in the lemon juice and adjust the seasoning if necessary. Ladle the soup into serving bowls, then tear over the mozzarella, if using. Top with the cherry tomatoes, basil leaves and a drizzle of olive oil.