Salt's roast tomato soup with feta cream

Photo: Supplied
Photo: Supplied
Ask a Chef reveals the secrets of those superb dishes you ate in cafes and restaurants and wanted to try yourself.

Makes 6 portions

Equipment
a large heavy-based pot
roasting tray
a stick blender or food processor with blitzing blade

Ingredients
500g canned chopped tomatoes
8 fresh tomatoes, washed and cut into quarters
4 white onions, peeled and finely diced
2 carrots, peeled and finely diced
2 sticks celery, washed and peeled and finely sliced
6 cloves garlic, crushed and cut into halves
1 Tbsp dried oregano
2 tsp dried thyme
3 tsp light brown sugar
750ml water
30ml balsamic vinegar
20ml white vinegar
150ml white wine
120ml olive oil
100g caster or raw sugar

Feta cream
250g Danish White Feta
50ml canola oil
35ml olive oil
pinch of cracked black pepper
30g parsley washed and chopped

Method
Prepare the vegetables while heating the oven to 180degC. Have all the wet and dry ingredients measured out for easy use.

On a roasting tray, place the fresh tomatoes with the dry ingredients and mix well to coat the tomato. Lightly season and use 40ml of olive oil to coat.

Cook for 10 minutes until soft and coloured.

While the tomato is roasting, heat a large pan and add a splash of canola or vegetable oil (this will stop the olive oil from smoking when you add it later) then add the prepared vegetables, apart from the tomato and chopped tomato.

Sweat in the pot until soft and lightly coloured (roughly 10 minutes on a medium heat).

Now add in the roasted tomato and the olive oil. Stir well to mix in then deglaze the pot with the white wine.

Add the remaining wet ingredients, sugar and chopped tomato.

Bring to the boil and allow to simmer gently for 15-20 minutes. Remove from heat and allowing to cool slightly before blitzing.

Once completely smooth and blended, season to taste with salt and pepper, before adding: 20ml olive oil, 10ml balsamic vinegar, 20g caster or raw sugar and juice of half a lemon or 20ml squeezed lemon juice.

Blitz again to mix and finish.

Note: The soup is vegan at this point if served without the feta cream garnish.

Feta cream
Blitz ingredients until smooth. If too thick, add a further 20-30ml of canola oil.

Recipe provided by Salt, Dunedin. Recipe requested by Diane Campbell, Dunedin.

• If you have enjoyed a dish in an Otago cafe or restaurant and would like the recipe, write to Ask a Chef, Features, Otago Daily Times, PO Box 517, Dunedin, fax 474-7422, or email odt.features@odt.co.nz, including your name, address and a daytime telephone number, and we will request it.

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