We actually developed this dish a few years back as part of a book proposal that never came to fruition. We came across it again recently and were struck by how much we still love this dish. It's perfect for summer's sweet tomatoes and it seemed like the perfect time to share it here.
Tomato Soup with Mozzarella Noodles
Tomato Soup (below)
Mozzarella Noodles (below)
Baby Tomatoes (below)
40 Thai Basil Leaves
40 Thai Basil Blossoms
Place a pot of water on to boil. Pour soup in a separate large pot over medium heat and bring it to a simmer. Place the baby tomatoes and any juices which they released in a pan large enough to hold them in one layer. Gently warm through or low heat. When the water is boiling add the mozzarella noodles and cook for two minutes to heat through. Arrange five assorted tomatoes in the top right had corner of each dish. When the noodles are hot, drain them and arrange a nest of noodles slightly overlapping the warmed tomatoes. Place the basil leaves and the basil blossoms on the tomatoes and mozzarella noodles, dividing them so that they are spread evenly over these components. Pour the soup into the bowl and serve immediately.
800 grams canned San Marzano tomatoes
140 grams hoisin sauce
15 grams dried hibiscus flowers
500 grams water
Combine tomatoes, hoisin sauce, hibiscus, and water in a 6-quart pressure cooker. Cook on high pressure for 20 minutes. Alternatively, combine all of the ingredients in heavy bottomed pot and bring to a simmer over medium high heat. Simmer gently, skimming as needed, for one hour. Remove from heat, cover and let steep for 30 minutes. Strain the finished stock through a fine meshed strainer lined with damp cheesecloth into a heatproof bowl. Use immediately or chill in an ice bath and reserve in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
1400 grams fresh tomatoes
1045 grams tomato stock
5 grams fine sea salt
xanthan gum (amount calculated by weight below)
Cut the tomatoes into quarters and place in a vacuum bag. Seal them in a vacuum sealer on high pressure to compress the tomatoes and to concentrate their texture and flavor. In two new bags, divide the tomato stock and the vacuum compressed tomatoes. Vacuum seal the tomatoes with the stock and let marinate overnight. Open the bags and place the tomatoes and stock in a blender. Puree the tomatoes and their stock in a blender on a medium speed for 90 seconds. This will allow the tomatoes to be coarsely chopped and pulverized without blending the seeds and skin into the soup. Strain the coarse mixture through a fine mesh sieve, pressing on the solids to extract as much tomato liquid as possible.
Weigh the strained soup and calculate 0.1% of that weight. That is the amount of xanthan gum you will need to add to the base. Pour the soup into a clean blender and turn it on low, Slowly increase the speed to form a vortex at the base of the tomato mixture. With the blender still running, remove the lid and sprinkle in the salt and the xanthan gum. Once the xanthan gum is incorporated, turn off the blender. Strain the mixture one more time through a fine mesh strainer.
In order to remove excess air bubbles, put the soup in the container so that it comes only one third of the way up the sides. (There will most likely be more soup than fits in the container and this process will need to be repeated.) Place the tomato soup and the container in the chamber of the vacuum machine and close the lid. The vacuum pulled on the chamber will begin to pull the air bubbles out of the soup. The soup will begin to climb the sides of the container and when it comes to just below the edge of the rim, shut the machine off. The chamber will then fill with air again and the soup will shrink back down in the dish having dispelled many of its air bubbles. This process should be repeated until the soup loses 95% of its air bubbles and changes from pale red to an intense red in color. Once the first batch of soup is free of air bubbles, remove it from the container and reserve in a bain marie or other suitable storage container. Repeat the process with the rest of the soup. Reserve in the refrigerator until ready to serve. Alternatively prepare the soup the day before you wish to serve it and let it rest in a covered container in the refrigerator for 24 hours, stirring gently every so often, so the bubbles have a chance to dissipate.
340 grams fresh mozzarella cheese
113 grams ricotta cheese
4 grams fine sea salt
3.85 grams Activa Y-G transglutaminase powder
Twelve 7.6-cm x 22-cm acetate sheets
Remove the mozzarella from any liquid and pat it dry. Cut the cheese into a large dice. Puree the mozzarella and ricotta with salt either two cycles in a PacoJet or in a food processor until the mixture is completely smooth and homogenized. Sprinkle the Activa over the cheese and fold it into the mixture with a rubber spatula. Puree the cheese for one more cycle in the PacoJet or for 2-3 minutes in the food processor. Using a small offset spatula, carefully spread the base in thin layers on the acetate sheets. Lay the mozzarella sheets out on sheet trays, carefully placing plastic wrap between the layers. Any wrinkles caused by the plastic wrap will remain in the finished ribbons. Once all of the mozzarella has been used, invert a sheet tray over the one containing the mozzarella sheets and refrigerate them for at least 18 hours to allow the transglutaminase to activate.
Once the cheese has set and you are ready to use the sheets, gently peel the cheese from the acetate. They should slide off easily. Trim the coarse outer edges on the sides of the sheets and then cut each sheet lengthwise into 0.5cm ribbons.
40 mixed colored baby tomatoes
2 grams sea salt
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. While the water is heating prepare an ice bath in a large bowl. Once the water is boiling, blanch the baby tomatoes, 5 or six at a time, for five seconds and transfer them immediately to the ice bath. Be careful not to overcook the tomatoes, as they will become mushy. When the tomatoes are ice cold, remove them from the ice bath. Use a paring knife to peel the tomatoes, starting from the stem end of each one. Place the peeled tomatoes in a container in a single layer and season with the salt. Gently mix the tomatoes to coat evenly with the salt. When the tomatoes are seasoned, cover and reserve in the refrigerator until needed.