Saturday, July 14, 2012
Déjà vu: Estonian tomato and smoked cheese soup recipe
On Monday morning I opened my mailbox and saw this:
Hello from London
Love the blog. I had a wonderful tomato and smoked cheese soup in Tallinn and wondered if this was a traditional Estonian soup and whether you had a recipe for this?
Thanks and best wishes
Why déjà vu? You see, it's not the first time I get a recipe request for an "Estonian cheese soup" - I even posted a recipe for an "Estonian" courgette/zucchini and cheese soup last Spring, when a reader was inquiring about a soup he heard about on an American radio station. I wasn't really aware that there's such a thing as a typical Estonian cheese soup, but then realised that something called juustusupp (cheese soup) is served in most pubs, and I did have several soups in my regular recipe repertoire that relied on being thickened with either smoked cheese (suitsujuust) or melted cheese (sulatatud juust) or flavoured or unflavoured cream cheese (toorjuust).
Some cherry tomatoes from picked from our greenhouse this weekend. The varieties are Sungold and Suncherry.
Here are some of the soup recipes here on Nami-Nami foodblog that contain cheese:
Estonian courgette/zucchini and smoked cheese soup
Goat cheese and beetroot/beet soup
Creamy fish soup
But back to the tomato and cheese soup that Chris was inquiring about. Here's a version I made for lunch today, and my family loved it. I used tomato passata or sieved pureéd tomatoes. You can use canned chopped tomatoes (just process them smooth first) or even chopped fresh tomatoes from your garden (chop, cook with a bit of salt, pureé and press through a sieve to remove the skin).
The smoked cheese that's most popular here in Estonia is this "log" - currently produced by Tere (but this has been around - looking exactly the same - since the Soviet time), weighs 280 grams. After you remove the wrapping and the skin and nibble a slice or two, you're left with about 200 grams of cheese:
I might try this spreadable smoke-flavoured cheese by E-Piim next time (180 g) - would be probably so much more convenient to use in a soup:
If you cannot get hold of either one of those, then Kitchen Ninja helpfully left a comment after the courgette and smoked cheese soup recipe that smoked Gouda worked brilliantly, so try to locate some of that Dutch cheese, or look for a Räucherkäse, geräucherter Käse, копчёный сыр or such like in your local international food isle.
Tomato and Smoked Cheese Soup
400 g canned chopped tomatoes or tomato passata
400 ml water
200 g smoked cheese, finely chopped
200 ml single cream/pouring cream
salt, to taste
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
sugar, to taste
fresh parsley, to garnish
Mix tomatoes and water in a medium saucepan. Bring into a slow boil, then add the smoked cheese and cream and heat, stirring constantly, until the cheese has melted.
Season the soup with salt, pepper and sugar.
Garnish with some finely chopped parsley and serve. A good crusty bread would be a nice companion.