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Julia Busuttil Nishimura's Roasted Tomato Summer Soup With Mozzarella

Food

Julia Busuttil Nishimura is the queen of using simple, minimal ingredients for maximum flavour. And this rustic roasted tomato soup is the perfect example!

Also, in case you haven’t heard, Julia’s NEW cookbook A Year Of Simple Family Food is only a couple of months away! Julia’s first cookbook Ostro was an instant classic, and has become a beloved cooking companion for people all over the world. We could not be more excited for book number two and of course, will be revealing more as the time comes closer. Watch this space!

18th February, 2020

Julia Busuttil Nishimura ladling up her roasted tomato soup. Photo – Eve Wilson.

Fresh cut tomatoes ready for roasting. Photo – Eve Wilson.

Late summer is the perfect time of year for sweet tomatoes. Photo – Eve Wilson.

Julia Busuttil Nishimura
Tuesday 18th February 2020

‘Make this soup when tomatoes are at their best, bursting red and full of flavour.’ – Julia Busuttil Nishimura.

Although tomatoes are synonymous with summer, I would almost consider them an Autumn fruit, at least here in Melbourne anyway. The best ones are usually had in February or March, so sweet from the warmth of a long summer. One of my favourite ways to enjoy them is in this delicious soup, which is so simple to make and requires very little active time in the kitchen. Roasting them makes them even sweeter, and paired with the basil and mozzarella, it’s just a lovely pure dish.

This soup is incredibly rustic and rather thick, so feel free to place the soup into a pot and thin out with some stock if you would like it to stretch a bit further. If you’re keeping it as it is though, and blitzing the tomatoes right away from the oven, you won’t need to heat it in a pot at all. While I’ve suggested adding the mozzarella directly into the soup, sometimes I sandwich slices of the milky cheese in between two slices of bread to make creamy grilled sandwiches which are also a sure winner. Make this soup when tomatoes are at their best, bursting red and full of flavour.

This recipe celebrates all that is good about easy summer eating.

Simple summer eating at its best. Photo – Eve Wilson.

Photo – Eve Wilson.

JULIA’S Roasted tomato soup with basil and mozzarella (serves 4)

2kg Roma tomatoes
8 cloves garlic, left whole in their skin
3 shallots, roughly chopped
2 stems of basil
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt

Basil oil
Large handful of basil leaves, finely chopped
Extra virgin olive oil
Red wine vinegar

Sea salt, to taste

250g buffalo mozzarella, to serve

Grilled bread, to serve

Method

Preheat the oven to 180C. 

Halve the tomatoes and remove the core from the top. Arrange them cut side up onto a large roasting or baking tray. Tuck in the garlic, shallots and basil amongst the tomatoes and drizzle with the olive oil. Scatter generously with sea salt and roast for 1 1/2 hours or until the tomatoes have collapsed and have caramelised in spots. Remove the basil and discard. Squeeze the garlic from their skins and place in a food processor or blender along with the roasted tomatoes, shallots and any liquid at the bottom of the tray. Blitz until very smooth and season to taste 

Meanwhile, for the oil, simply place the chopped basil in a small bowl and pour in enough olive oil to make it a spoonable consistency. Add enough red wine vinegar to give it some sharpness, a few teaspoons should be enough, and season to taste with sea salt. 

Ladle the soup into serving bowls and tear in some mozzarella. Drizzle over some of the basil oil and serve with grilled bread.

What else I’m eating this month:

The fried shallot, cashew sour cream and pickled jalapeño at Old Palm Liquor in East Brunswick!

What else I’m cooking with:

Incredible Elberta peaches from Howieson Farm which I buy at the Flemington farmers market. They taste like peaches used to and should taste like! I just blanch them to take off their fuzzy skin and have been eating them with muesli, on top of pancakes and baked in galettes and cakes! ‘Tis the season!

You can follow Julia’s food adventures on Instagram and find more fab recipes via her website

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