1 kilo large, ripe tomatoes
½ cup wood chips, soaked in water
branches of fresh woody herbs such as rosemary and thyme
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 carrot, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon tomato paste
4 cups chicken stock
100 grams soft goats’ or feta cheese
1 clove garlic, crushed
2 tablespoons cream
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
warm crusty bread rolls
Smoking: Halve the tomatoes and season with salt and freshly ground pepper.
Drain the chips and place in the base of the smoker or foil-lined wok. Scatter over the herbs. Put the tomatoes on the rack, cut side up, and place over the chips. Heat the smoker, uncovered, over a moderate heat until the mixture starts to smoke. Cover tightly, reduce the heat to medium and smoke for 30 minutes. Turn off the heat and leave for 5 minutes before uncovering. Carefully transfer to a bowl, making sure you don’t spill the juices that are in the halved tomatoes.
Soup: Heat the oil in a saucepan and add the onion, carrot and garlic. Season. Cover and cook until very tender. Stir in the tomato paste and cook for 1 minute. Discard the tomato skins. Add the flesh and all the juices to the saucepan, stir then add the stock. Simmer gently for 30 minutes. Cool the soup a little then purée, in batches, until smooth. Tip back into the saucepan and reheat before serving.
Topping: Beat the goats’ cheese and garlic until soft and fold in the cream and basil. Season.
To serve: Ladle the soup into warm bowls and top with a dollop of the basil cream. Serve with warm crusty bread rolls.