You’ll struggle to find a soup that looks as good as this one: a stack of aubergine, melting mozzarella and pesto get the centre of attention. Use plump, ripe Italian tomatoes for the best flavour.
TO DRINK: Mooiplaas Rosalind 2003’s cherry, pepper and mocha flavours are certain to nestle up to these rustic flavours
Roasted tomato and aubergine soup with mozzarella and pesto islands
- 1kg ripe Italian tomatoes, peeled and quartered
- 2 aubergines, cubed
- 1 garlic clove
- 15ml olive oil
- 50ml fresh basil, torn
- salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 30ml butter
- 600ml chicken or vegetable stock
- 30ml sun-dried tomatoes in brine, drained
- sugar, to taste
- 130ml fresh cream
- 1 aubergine
- olive oil, for brushing
- 6 slices French baguette, toasted
- 12 thick slices mozzarella
- fresh basil pesto
Preheat the oven to 200°C.
Place the tomatoes and aubergines in a roasting tray and toss through the garlic, olive oil and 20ml of the basil. Season and roast for 20 – 30 minutes.
Sweat the onion in the butter until translucent. Add the stock and roasted vegetables together with any juices. Simmer for 5 – 8 minutes.
Add the sun-dried tomatoes and liquidise with the remaining basil in a blender. Season and add sugar to taste.
Add the cream and return to the heat to heat through.
For the islands, slice the aubergine into 12 rounds roughly the same size as the mozzarella slices. Heat a griddle pan to smoking hot, brush the slices with olive oil and grill until golden, about 2 minutes a side.
Form an island by stacking a round of toast, a slice of grilled aubergine, a round of mozzarella and another slice of aubergine on top of each other. Repeat to form six stacks. Place the stacks in the oven until the mozzarella begins to melt, about 3 minutes.
Place one island in the centre of each bowl and top with a generous dollop of pesto. Pour piping hot soup around the islands into each bowl and serve immediately while still hot.