One of my favourite restaurants in my hometown of Melbourne is Movida, a brilliant tapas bar. The original small bar which was always impossible to get into (Londoners – think Barrafina but with bookings) has now expanded to two additional restaurants, Movida Next Door and Movida Acqui each with their own distinct personalities and menus. On my most recent trip to Melbourne I visited Movida Acqui and ordered the brilliant fried calamari boccadillos which must be some of the classiest and tastiest beer drinking accompaniments ever created.
You need 1 kilo of fresh tomatoes
Given my love for all things Movida I was delighted to discover that Frank Camorra, the head chef at Movida has just released his latest book, MoVida Rustica in the UK. The book is part cookbook and part travelogue accompanied by stunning design and photographs. The book has won all sorts of design awards in Australia and it is easy to see why. There is even a chapter devoted entirely to jamon – brilliant. It is the sort of book you would buy for bed time reading and browsing pleasure even if the recipes were useless. But of course, this is Frank Camorra so the recipes are spot on. A lot of the recipes are quite complex and require hard to get ingredients like nettles, morcilla and goat but there are also several recipes that you could easily use for a weeknight dinner like the tomato, egg and cumin soup recipe.
The book is a hefty tome
This soup (its Spanish title is sopa de tomate al comino) was originally created as a way to use up ripe tomatoes so it is a perfect summer dish. I was slightly dubious about the addition of egg to the soup but it really makes the dish leaving the whole soup with a creamy texture and turning a light soup into a hearty meal.
50ml olive oil
1 red onion roughly chopped
1 red pepper (capsicum) seeded and roughly chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely sliced
1 kg ripe tomatoes
1 tsp cumin seeds, roasted and ground
2 tsp caster sugar
2 tsp sweet smoked paprika
2 tsp fine sea salt
Cooking the peppers and onion to a jam like consistency
1. Score a cross in the base of each tomato, place in a heatproof bowl and cover with boiling water. Leave for 30 seconds then transfer to cold water and peel the skin away from the cross. Cut the tomatoes in half and scoop out the seeds. (Alternatively you can cheat and use canned tomatoes).
2. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and a pinch of salt and cook for 5 mins or until soft and translucent. Add the capsicum and garlic and reduce the heat to low. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally for 40 mins or until the mixture has a jam like consistency.
3. Stir in the tomatoes and 700ml of water and simmer for 25 mins or until the mixture has a soupy consistency. Add the sugar, 1 1/2 tsps paprika and the sea salt and mix well.
4. Crack the eggs, one at a time into a cup, then gently slide them into the soup around the edges. Cover and simmer gently for 6 mins.
5. Carefully divide the cooked eggs and soup among bowls and sprinkle with the remaining paprika.
Ready to eat soup
If you liked reading this you might be interested in my list of the ten best restaurants in Melbourne which includes Movida. If you are in London and looking for great tapas try Barrafina.
Gourmet Chick received a review copy of Movida Rustica from Murdoch Books.