Unlike most consommés, which need to be clarified using a raft (usually a puréed mixture of vegetables and eggwhite and sometimes meat), tomatoes have the curious ability to clarify themselves. Use the ripest, lushest tomatoes you can get your hands on.
- 850 gm very ripe tomatoes, coarsely chopped
- 1 bulb of baby fennel, coarsely chopped
- ½ small Spanish onion, coarsely chopped
- 4 cloves of garlic, bruised
- 3 sprigs each of basil and tarragon
- 30 ml red wine vinegar (1½ tbsp)
- 3 leaves of gelatine (titanium strength), soaked in cold water
- 120 gm cherry tomatoes, halved
- 120 gm yellow grape tomatoes, quartered
- 2 tbsp small basil leaves
- 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- To serve: goat’s curd and sourdough crostini
- 1Combine ripe tomato, fennel, onion, garlic, herb sprigs and 1.5 litres water in a large saucepan over medium-high heat, bring to the boil, then reduce heat and simmer gently until reduced by half (about 1 hour). Remove from heat, then strain through a muslin-lined sieve to yield 750ml (3 cups), add 1 tbsp vinegar and season to taste with sea salt. Squeeze excess water from gelatine, add to warm consommé and stir until gelatine dissolves. Pour into four ¾ cup-capacity glasses and refrigerate until just set (about 4 hours).
- 2Combine cherry and grape tomatoes, basil, oil and remaining vinegar, season to taste with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper and toss lightly to combine. Arrange on top of consommé, spoon a small quenelle of goat’s curd beside tomatoes and serve with sourdough crostini.