Roasting the vegetables in this Mediterranean-style soup provides a deeper, richer flavour. Enjoy this soup hot or cold with the olive-dotted bread.
Artwork by Helen Schroeder (watercolour on paper)
Roasted tomato and Zucchini soup with olive bread
Preparation time: 45 minutes +1 hour dough proving + 30 minutes rising times for bread
Cooking time: 45 minutes
1 kg (2 lb 4 oz/about 8–10) tomatoes, halved
700 g (1 lb 9 oz/about 4–5) large zucchini, halved lengthways
2 onions, quartered
1 whole head of garlic, with the top cut off
shaved parmesan cheese, to serve
450 g (1 lb/3 cups) plain (all-purpose) flour
1 tablespoon caster (superfine) sugar
1 teaspoon salt
7 g (1/4 oz/2 teaspoons) active dried yeast
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup roughly chopped basil leaves
150 g (51/2 oz/1 cup) pitted kalamata olives, roughly chopped
1 To make the olive bread, combine the flour, sugar and salt in a large mixing bowl and stir to combine. Make a well in the centre. In a small separate bowl, whisk together the yeast and 310 ml (103/4 fl oz/11/4 cups) warm water and allow to stand for about 10 minutes, until the mixture starts to froth. Pour the yeast mixture into the flour well, add the oil and mix together. Turn the out dough onto a lightly floured work surface and knead for 10 minutes, or until the dough is smooth and elastic. Place in an oiled bowl, cover with a clean damp tea towel (dish towel) and set aside for about 1 hour, or until the dough has doubled in size.
2 Heat the oven to 220°C (425ºF/Gas 7). Lightly grease a baking tray. Punch down the dough and knead again for about 5 minutes. Spread the dough out so it is about 2 cm (3/4 inch) thick, then scatter over the basil and olives and roll up and shape into a round. Place onto the prepared tray and allow to rise for another 30 minutes. Bake the bread in the oven for 30 minutes, or until the it is golden and sounds hollow when you tap it on the bottom.
3 To make the soup, preheat the oven to 180ºC (350ºF/Gas 4). Place the tomatoes, zucchini, onion and garlic in large roasting dish. Drizzle with olive oil, season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper and toss well. Roast the vegetables for about 30 minutes, or until soft. Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly, then squeeze the roasted garlic into a blender or food processor and scrape in all the other vegetables. Add 500 ml (17 fl oz/2 cups) hot water and blend until smooth.
4 Transfer to a large saucepan over a medium-high heat and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes. Check the seasoning and serve the soup with shaved parmesan and hot buttered slices of the olive bread.