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- Prep time:
- 35 min, plus soaking time for the figs
- Cook time:
- 30 min
For a deliciously different lunch, try Maria Elia`s rich and flavoursome tomato and fig soup served with bubbling cheese-topped ciabatta
For the soup
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 1 Spanish onion, finely sliced
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 green pepper, finely sliced
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- small pinch dried red chilli flakes
- 1 x 4 cm cinnamon sticks
- 3 bay leaves
- 1.5 kg vine tomatoes, skinned, roughly chopped
- 50 g caster sugar
- 100 g dried figs, soaked in 700ml boiling water for 20 minutes
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the ciabatta
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Method1. To make the soup, heat the olive oil in a large, heavy saucepan, and soften the onion, garlic and pepper.
2. Stir in the cumin, chilli flakes, cinnamon stick and bay leaves - continue to cook for a further 2 minutes.
3. Add the tomatoes, sugar, figs and soaking water from the figs. Simmer over a gentle heat for about 25 minutes.
4. Discard the cinnamon stick and add salt and pepper to season. Blend the soup (with the bay leaves) in a liquidiser until smooth.
5. Top the ciabatta with the sliced goats' cheese, and grill until the cheese is bubbling and golden. Cover with fresh fig slices.
6. Garnish the hot soup with rocket leaves and accompany with fig-topped bruschetta slices.