Essence of tomatoes

Essence of tomatoes

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(3 ratings)


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Cooking time

Ready in 40 - 50 mins

Skill level



Serves 4

Make Raymond Blanc's flavoursome tomato soup up to 1 day ahead, and keep chilled

Nutrition and extra info

Additional info

  • Healthy
Nutrition info

Nutrition per serving

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  • 2½ kg cherry vine-ripened tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 1 stick celery, finely chopped
  • 1 small shallot, finely chopped
  • half fennel bulb, finely chopped
  • 1 small garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 2 sprigs thyme, roughly chopped
  • 4 leaves tarragon, roughly chopped
  • handful basil leaves, roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp golden caster sugar
  • 2 pinches cayenne pepper
  • 5 drops Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 drops Tabasco sauce

To serve

  • 4 basil leaves, finely sliced, plus 4 small sprigs
  • 6 large plum vine tomatoes, skinned, seeded and finely diced
  • good-quality extra-virgin olive oil

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  1. In a large bowl mix all the ingredients together with 1 tbsp sea salt, cover with cling film and marinate for 6 hrs. Then, in a food processor, pulse the tomato mix in batches until roughly chopped – don’t over-chop them to a mush.
  2. Place three layers of muslin cloth, or a new kitchen cloth, over a large bowl and pour the mix into the cloth. Tie up with string and hang in a cold place for at least 15 mins over the bowl to collect the tomato essence. Set aside the pulp. Taste and correct the seasoning, if necessary, then cool in the fridge.
  3. To serve, spoon a quarter of the diced tomato into the centre of four bowls. Carefully pour the chilled tomato essence around the tomato towers and garnish with the basil and a small drizzling of olive oil.

Recipe from Good Food magazine, June 2005

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gerry3999's picture

can the essence be frozen?

mci0709's picture
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Totally loved making this took me about an hour though just to cut up the tomatoes but well worth it. The flavour was very intense but if i make it again I would put less fennel maybe a quarter as could taste fennel more than tomato!!

antonego's picture

I was so happy to find this recipe, and scanned the basic instructions, particularly noting, 'Ready in 40 - 50 minutes'. Great...!!
I went shopping after inviting guests for dinner that night, then came home to begin preparing. Ah.... marinate for 6 hours..... Something here does not compute. How can it be ready in 40 - 50 mimutes if a marinade takes 6 hours....??
Get real.............!!!!!

dalice's picture
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Gorgeous intense tomato flavour. Use the left over vegetable pulp in a pasta sauce.

lv20000's picture
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Great summer starter only problem is it and cost about £20 just for the tomatoes needed!

patsyfk's picture

Hi there
Have just found this recipe on Royal Horticultural site -
The rest of the ingredients appear the same -
To 2.5 kg halved cherry tomatoes -
So best to buy them on special offer

deelightuk's picture

How many tomatoes???????? It doesn't say!