I hardly know where to start with this soup. There’s so much going on considering how few ingredients are actually in it.
Normally, tomato soups are blended. Those are cool and all, but it’s hard to parse apart the flavors of what’s going in it. Every bite tastes the same, and texturally, soups can be a little boring.
This is more of a deconstructed tomato soup with Jamón and Manchego cheese. And damn it’s far from boring.
It’s fun to eat because every bite gets a star ingredient.
By roasting the tomatoes and garlic, the flavor is exponentially enhanced. The tomatoes are slightly caramelized in the heat and the garlic cloves get soft and sweet.
Squeezing soft roasted garlic cloves from their skins is strangely satisfying so buckle in.
The tomatoes and garlic melt down slightly in the soup, but by skipping the blending step, you’ve created recognizable pieces of star ingredients throughout the soup.
Adding in salty Jamón, nutty Manchego and crunchy toasted bread chunks makes this less of a soup and more of a meal. This is a meal soup.
I’ve mentioned before that Spanish cooks love to use pricy ingredients sparingly to make dishes more special. This tomato soup is no exception.
Top the tomato soup with course sea salt, fresh pepper, thyme and a little more oil.
This is a soup I’d be proud to serve friends and family any day of the week.
This recipe is adapted from José Pizarro. This is his interpretation of a dish he orders in San Sebastian, Basque Country, Spain. I’ve never been but if someone wants to sponsor me, I’ll send my Venmo details. Any takers?
Tomato Soup with Jamón and Manchego
(Start making 90 minutes before you want Tomato Soup with Jamón and Manchego)
Set your oven to 320F.
Slice the tomatoes in half and separate the garlic cloves from each other. You want the skins still on the garlic. Lay everything on a baking pan and mix with 3 Tbsp of olive oil and sea salt/pepper. Roast for 55 – 60 minutes.
Heat 2 Tbsp of olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add your sliced shallots. Gently fry until translucent and lightly browned. Add the tomatoes and squeeze the garlic out of the skins and into the pot. Add the stock and leaves from the thyme stems. Season with a little salt and pepper.
Bring to a boil, then let simmer for at least 10 minutes. As this is happening, heat the remaining 3 Tbsp olive oil in a skillet. Fry the slices of bread on each side, until golden brown.
Ladle the soup into bowls. Top with torn pieces of Jamón, shavings of Manchego cheese, bread chunks, sea salt and a drizzle of good olive oil. Take a picture cuz damn that’s beautiful.