Slow-roasted tomato soup with fried mackerel and pesto
If you are a lover of soups and intense flavors, this is the definitive soup. It is a soup that is made after roasting ripe sweet tomatoes together with garlic, thyme and olive oil. The mash resulting from that roast is absolutely delicious and intense.
If you want, you can keep it and use it as a seasoning for roasts or to accompany any pasta, or you can use it for a chup chup over low heat like we do today, to obtain a unique soup.
The truth is that at home it never lasts long, I've already said it all!
2.5kg ripe tomatoes of various types, halved
Half a sprig of thyme
6 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the pesto:
30g sunflower seeds
1 small garlic clove
75g aged cheddar or goat cheese, finely grated
A good pinch of sea salt
1 large handful of basil
100ml of extra virgin olive oil
For the mackerel:
2 medium-sized fresh mackerels, filleted
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 fresh bay leaf, split
1 garlic clove, crushed
2 sprigs of thyme
- Preheat the oven to 200°C.
- Place the tomato halves (very large ones can be quartered) face up on a baking sheet large enough to fit them all in a single layer. Sprinkle the thyme stalks and minced garlic on top, then drizzle with the oil and season with salt and pepper.
- Place the tray in the oven and roast the tomatoes for 45-60 minutes, or until they start to wrinkle around the edges and are just about to sink.
- Remove from the oven and let cool for a few minutes. With the help of a pin or in a strainer, crush the tomatoes against a strainer, extracting all their dense and aromatic juice.
- Discard the skin and any remaining seeds. Pour the tomato juice into the cocotte and bring to a boil. You can adjust the balance between sweetness and tartness with a little cider vinegar or a pinch of sugar. Either way, taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper to your liking. If the soup is thin, you can bring it to a boil a little longer, so that it reduces and thickens.
- Meanwhile, prepare the pesto. Put a dry skillet over low to medium heat. Add the sunflower seeds and cook, stirring regularly, for a few minutes until the seeds are toasted and give off their aroma. Remove from heat and let cool.
- Put the cold and toasted sunflower seeds in a food processor or a chopper together with the garlic, cheese and salt, and chop everything until it has a fairly fine consistency. Add the basil and continue chopping until everything is fine, and then gradually add the oil. When everything is mixed to a smooth, even texture, season to taste and pour the pesto into a bowl.
- When you are about to serve the soup, you can cook the fish. Reheat nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the olive oil, bay leaf, thyme, and crushed garlic clove, two flavors that work wonders when cooking with mackerel.
- Cut the fillets in half, giving you eight small pieces. Lightly season the mackerel with salt and pepper and place the pieces skin side down in the pan. Cook for 2-3 minutes, until the fillets are almost cooked through, then flip and turn off the heat. The steaks will finish cooking with the residual heat from the pan.
- Using a saucepan, serve the soup into four wide bowls, or tureens . Add two pieces of fish to each bowl and drizzle the pesto on top.
- Finish with a drizzle of your best olive oil, some black pepper and a handful of basil leaves, if you have any left.
- Mackerel is a tasty, oily fish with an amazing flavor. It is important that it be fresh of the day. Look for fish with steady, glowing eyes in the market and you won't be disappointed.
- I like to use sunflower seeds instead of pine nuts for the pesto because I love the flavor they leave behind. Hazelnuts and walnuts also work well.
- You can change the mackerel for any fish you like. Perhaps you prefer seared scallops, or if fish isn't your thing, you could also try caramelized fennel or even a hearty helping of rich roasted zucchini.