Wednesday, 3 June 2015

Spicy Tomato and Fennel Soup with a Dollop of Fresh Pesto and Ricotta Toast

We are having some renovations done to our house at the moment which involves taking some windows out and replacing them with glass doors. We are at the "windows out" stage today... a winters day... Cue multi-layered clothing, steaming bowls of soup and hot toast for lunch... and a hot bath for afternoon tea.

Spicy Tomato and Fennel Soup with a Dollop of Fresh Pesto and Ricotta Toast
adapted from here
Serves 4

For the Soup:
2kg tomatoes
6 garlic cloves, peeled
1 carrot, diced
1 small bulb fennel, sliced
1/2 red chilli, sliced
60ml olive oil
1 tablespoon sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper

For the Pesto:
A large bunch basil, leaves picked
2 cloves garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
50g pine nuts
50g parmesan, grated
salt and freshly ground black pepper
150ml olive oil

For the Toast:
1 ciabatta loaf
400g fresh ricotta
1 tablespoon olive oil
zest of half lemon
Freshly ground black pepper

Make the Soup:
Preheat the oven to 200C.

Put the tomatoes, garlic, carrot, fennel and chilli into a large roasting pan. Drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and pepper and cover the pan tightly with foil. Roast in the oven for 1 1/2 hours. Remove the foil and roast for a further 30 minutes.

Leave the vegetables to cool slightly, then pour them into a food processor and blitz. You can make the soup as smooth as you like. I prefer a it rough and chunky.

Make the Pesto:
Put all the pesto ingredients into a blender and blitz until smooth.
Make the Toast:
Heat the grill (broiler) to medium.

Put the ricotta, olive oil and lemon zest into a bowl. Season with pepper and mix together to combine. Set aside.

Slice the ciabatta in half horizontally. Spread the ricotta mixture evenly over the two halves. Grill (broil) until the ricotta starts to go golden in places.

To Serve:
Ladle the soup into deep bowls, dollop with fresh pesto and serve with ricotta toasts for dunking.


  1. Oooh I remember renovating our bathroom in the middle of winter! Not fun! Hope your doors are replaced soon! Meanwhile, this delicious soup looks like the perfect cure for the winter day chills! I love that ricotta toast too! Cheesy bread and tomato soup are a match made in wintry heaven!

  2. Yummy, this is like a fabulous adult version of grilled cheese and tomato! Looks so good! Good luck with the work on your house!

  3. Daaammmnnn, that is such a nice meal after a cold day!! I really love everything from the bread to the soup to the pesto. Love, love, love!!

  4. Oh my goodness, could this be any more perfect? That ricotta toast is so genius -- I can just imagine how delicious ricotta is broiled over toast! I can't wait to try it, especially with this incredible soup. Hope that renovation goes by quickly!

  5. I agree with cynthia- that ricotta toast looks totally killer. Great idea!