Recipe - Tomato Soup with Basil and Goat Cheese
A few weeks ago I received one of my mother’s recipe faxes again. The list of her culinary adventures and recommendations was long (as always) and included Tyrolean Nocken made of goat cream cheese mixed with finely chopped hard mountain cheese. Nocken are dumplings, they can be made of potatoes like Italian gnocchi, bread or flour but there is also an uncooked version in which case they are made of cream cheese or ricotta. I’ve made these a couple times but never mixed with hard cheese. This sounded interesting, especially because I’ve been wanting to make tomato soup for weeks which seemed like the perfect combination to me. The fruity soup, thick and sweet, refined with some strong goat milk and cheese flavours!
I slipped in some herbs as well, fresh basil for the tomatoes after the soup was done and chives for the Nocken. The soup is a strong concentrate of 2 pounds of tomatoes, chopped and cooked with skin and seeds for just 10 minutes. Some garlic rubbed with salt to a smooth paste, a tiny bit of broth, some vinegar and the basil, that’s all it needed. Apart from the Nocken, which I scooped with a wet spoon, to place a white dot in the middle of a glowing red bowl!
I served the tomato soup warm, some prefer it cold but that’s not really my thing.
For 2 people as a main or 4 as a starter you will need
- Ripe tomatoes, chopped, 1 kg / 2 pounds
- Broth 125ml / 5 ounces
- Garlic 2 big cloves
- Balsamic vinegar 1 tablespoon plus more to taste
- A pinch of sugar
- Fresh basil leaves, roughly chopped, a small handful
- Salt and pepper
- Olive oil for frying
For the Nocken
- Fresh goat cream cheese 125g / 4.5 ounces
- Hard mountain cheese (like Appenzeller or Gruyère), finely chopped, 20g / 1 ounce
- Chives, snipped, 1-2 tablespoons salt and pepper
Rub the garlic with 1/4 teaspoon of salt under a big knife to a smooth paste.
In a big pot, heat a splash of olive oil, add the garlic paste and tomatoes and cook for 4 minutes on medium temperature (open). Add the vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper and cook for 5 minutes (open). Take off the heat and purée with a stick mixer or in a blender. Season with salt, pepper and vinegar to taste and stir in the basil.
Mix the goat cream cheese, hard mountain cheese and chives, season with salt and pepper to taste. With a wet tablespoon form oval Nocken and place on top of the soup. Serve immediately.