26 November 2006

Justin Adria or Ferran Quek

Tomato and Basil is a foolproof combination especially when it comes to pasta sauces, as shown in the previous entry. Justin Quek's beautifully written cookbook - Passion and Inspiration features one such recipe of a Roasted Tomato Soup and Basil Foam. This was one of the few recipes that did not include what I call a luxury ingredient like truffle, caviar, foie gras, hairy crab etc... But then again, one can always substitute these items with a similar and less costly item that can still result in something beautiful.

While the recipe featured an extremely clean, light and bright red soup with a basil foam island, I (lazily) skipped the conical straining part and instead opted for a thick pureed roasted tomato soup with a ring of basil foam made with a gourmet whip rather than a frother. I also slow-roasted some lovely baby plum tomatoes, which turned intense and chewy, to furnish the soup with.

I had to wing the recipe for the basil foam after reading through a few of Ferran Adria's recipes in The Cook's Book. Thankfully the proportions I used resulted in a suitably airy, smooth and rich concoction that was perfumed with the freshly plucked basil leaves.

For the benefit of those without a Gourmet Whip (that's you, Guan), I will post up Justin Quek's recipe for the basil foam as well. Justin's roasted tomato soup was absolutely a delight to start off a meal nonetheless, and worth keeping for future reference. I've got to get myself one of those conical strainers soon though, to taste the resulting soup that Justin intended for our palates.

Roasted Tomato Soup with Basil Foam and Slow Roasted Tomatoes
Adapted from Justin Quek and Ferran Adria's recipes
Serves 6

800 g tomatoes, cut into quarters
50ml olive oil
1 onion, peeled and diced
1 stalk of celery, diced
1 garlic clove, peeled
50g unsalted butter
400 g canned whole peeled tomatoes
1 tbspn sugar
1 tbspn red wine vinegar
600ml chicken stock
salt to taste
dried basil (optional)

100ml cream
15g basil leaves
2 egg whites
a pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 175 degrees celcius.
Warm the cream and basil leaves in a small saucepan for 5 mins without letting the cream boil, then leave to cool.
Heat olive oil in a roasting pan on your stove.
Add onion, celery and garlic.
Fry for 5 mins before adding fresh tomatoes and butter.
Stir well and place the roasting pan into oven.
Stir occasionally until they are caramelised (40 mins).
Add tinned peeled tomatoes and sugar mid-way into the roasting time.
Season with salt and deglaze with vinegar.

Transfer mixture into a saucepan, making sure to scrape off all caramelised bits stuck to the roasting pan.
Add chicken stock, bring to boil and simmer for 30 mins.
Blend in a food processor.

Meanwhile, strain the cooled basil-infused cream.
Whisk egg whites to loosen it up and whisk in cream.
Strain and pour into gourmet whip then follow manufacturer's instructions.
Keep in a bain marie at 65 degrees celcius for at least 10 minutes.

When ready to serve, bring the soup to boil again and season with salt to taste.
Ladle soup into bowls.
Pipe foam onto each bowlful of soup and garnish with slow roasted tomatoes (just replace tomatoes with halved baby plum tomatoes) and a sprinkle of dried basil.

Justin Quek's Basil Foam

Warm 100ml of milk with 25 grams of basil leaves in a small saucepan for 5 mins without letting milk boil.
Blend the mixture in a food processor and strain through a fine sieve.
Just before serving, froth the basil milk with a hand blender and spoon some onto each bowlful of soup.


fe li ci a said...

daphne yuan!

i am back in singapore! but no phone yet laaa...stupid me. but aniwaeee.. will contact you soon ... once i get a new number ok? see youuuuuuuuuuuuuu

val said...

i love tomato soup!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

FELICIA SENTOSA! Omg, Hurry! Call me! Then I can date you out! =)

Val, Good! Maybe I'll make it for the xmas dinner, just for you. Hopefully you'll like it =)

faith said...

stumbled upon your blog while searching for recipes. that's an awesome soup dish! hope it will be success when i do it for Xmas! *cross fingers*

Anonymous said...

Cool =) Let me know how it turns out for you. Maybe you should try it first before the actual day to see what kind of adjustments you would make. I've learnt that the hard way!