José Pizarro’s Tomato Soup with Jamón and Idiazábal
This is my interpretation of the tomato soup that I always order at restaurant La Cuchara de San Telmo. It’s a cold soup with jamón and Idiazábal. I’d never dare ask them for the recipe, but I think I’ve got pretty close here, so I’m happy with that.
My mum always fries the tomatoes with some onion and garlic, until really well reduced, and then adds some water. This is a great way to make the soup, and I risk life and limb to say this … but I do think that roasting the tomatoes and the garlic gives it a completely different dimension. Sorry, Mum!
2kg beautiful vine-ripened tomatoes
1 bulb garlic, cloves separated
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 banana shallot, finely chopped
handful of thyme sprigs, plus a few extra to garnish
1 litre fresh ham or fresh chicken stock
6 slices of baguette
6 slices of jamón
Idiazábal or manchego cheese shavings
extra-virgin olive oil to drizzle
Preheat the oven to 160°C/gas mark 3.
Halve the tomatoes and place on two large baking sheets with the garlic. Drizzle with lots of olive oil and season well, and place in the oven, rotating the trays halfway through cooking. Roast for 45-60 minutes until slightly caramelised.
Heat a little more oil in a deep pan and gently fry the shallot for 10 minutes. Tip in the roasted tomatoes and squeeze the soft garlic from their skins and add to the pan. Throw in the thyme and pour over the stock. Bring to the boil, then simmer for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat some oil in a frying pan and fry the baguette slices until golden and crisp, then break into pieces.
Spoon the soup into warmed bowls. Top with a scattering of fried baguette, the jamón slices and some cheese. Drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil, garnish with a sprig of thyme and serve.
Extracted from BASQUE: Spanish Recipes from San Sebastián and Beyond by José Pizarro (Hardie Grant, approx €32). Photography by Laura Edwards.