Crisp & crunchy Herb Breadcrumbs will add new vitality to soups, salads and Sunday Roasts. They are versatile, easy and remarkably delicious.
Sometimes a recipe comes along that is not only simple and plain delicious, but also incredibly versatile. Lucky you, I’m sharing such a recipe today. It’s a bit of a windfall.
At the heart of all three (yes three) recipes I have for you today are some breadcrumbs loaded up with herbs. These Herb Breadcrumbs are punchy, buttery, crunchy and hard to resist.
Fried up in a pan, these Herb Breadcrumbs form a crispy topping for slow roasted tomatoes - either served as they are with some peppery salad leaves or whizzed up into a vibrant soup.
But piled into a baking tin & left to oven bake, these Herb Breadcrumbs also form a beautiful, crumbly vegetarian stuffing. This herbaceous stuffing is perfect to accompany either a veggie roast or a traditional chicken, turkey or pork roast.
When deciding on the herbs to use in these Herb Breadcrumbs I deliberately opted for ones that marry well with tomatoes since I had tomato soup and slow roasted tomato salad in mind. That said, the combination of herbs can be adapted to suit individual tastes. Blends including: parsley, lovage, tarragon and marjoram would also suit those buttery crumbs nicely.
So let’s get to the three recipes.
First up is the Slow Roasted Tomato Soup with Herb Breadcrumbs. Tomato soup is a rather humble classic. But slow roasting the tomatoes prior to making the soup really brings out their flavour, adding a little extra verve to the bowl. A little onion and a splash of cream is really all that is needed to bring the soup together. The Herb breadcrumbs add a wonderful texture to the soup, elevating it’s status up several notches from modest supper.
Alternatively, try them on my more exotic tomato and fennel soup.
In a similar fashion, slow roasted tomatoes a-top peppery salad leaves brimming with crispy & buttery Herb Breadcrumbs translates into an enticing appetiser or a simple yet tasty light lunch.
The best part of these two recipes is that the breadcrumbs take just 15 minutes to make & cook and the tomatoes can be left to their own devises to roast in the oven. This means that you can have two striking treats for minimal effort.
And the news just gets better.
The stuffing is even easier to make. Everything is literally tossed together and left in the oven to cook - you don't even need to fry the breadcrumbs. So easy.
Whether you fancy a bowl of comforting soup, a light meal loaded with attitude or a buzzing companion to your Sunday Roast, these recipes using Herb Breadcrumbs are the way to go. Easy. Straightforward. Indisputably good.
Slow Roasted Tomato Soup with Crispy Herb Breadcrumbs
For the Herb Breadcrumbs (and stuffing)
- 1 Echalion (banana) shallot or ½ white onion
- 75 g/ ⅓ cup Butter
- Salt & pepper
- 125 g/ 1 ⅔ cup Fresh white breadcrumbs
- 10 g/ ½oz Fresh sage
- 10 g/ ½ oz Fresh thyme
- 10 g/ ½ oz Fresh chives
For the Soup
- 1 White onion
- 1 clove Garlic
- 3 tablespoon Olive oil
- 1 kg Ripe tomatoes (about 10 - medium)
- 500 ml/ 2 cups Vegetable stock
- 1 tablespoon Single cream (half & half)
For the Slow Roasted Tomatoes
- 4 Ripe tomatoes
- 2 tablespoon Olive oil
- Salt & Pepper
- Peppery salad leaves (I used a mix of rocket, spinach and watercress)
To make the Herb Breadcrumbs
- Chop the onion finely
- Melt the butter in a heavy based frying pan and fry the onion over a low-medium heat for 5 minutes until soft and translucent
- Meanwhile finely chop the herbs
- Add the breadcrumbs and the herbs to the pan and toss until thoroughly combined
- Cook until the breadcrumbs turn crisp and golden - stir frequently to prevent them from burning
- Season to taste then tip into a bowl to prevent further cooking in the hot pan
To Make the stuffing
- Follow the above instructions 1-4 then pile into a lined baking tin and bake for 25-30 minutes in a pre-heated oven (180C/ 350F/ GM4)
To make the soup
- Preheat the oven 150C/ 300F/ GM2
- Halve the tomatoes and toss in 2 tablespoon olive oil. Lay onto a lined baking sheet, sprinkle with a little salt & pepper and roast for 1 ½ hours
- At the end of the cooking time, chop the onion and garlic finely and fry in the remaining olive oil until soft
- Put the tomatoes, stock, onions and garlic into a blender and whizz until smooth. Heat until piping hot, stir the cream through and season to taste
- When ready to serve, ladle the soup into 4 bowls and top with the herb breadcrumbs
To make the slow roasted tomato salad
- Preheat the oven 150C/ 300F/ GM2
- Halve the tomatoes and toss in 1 tablespoon olive oil. Lay onto a lined baking sheet, sprinkle with a little salt & pepper and roast for 1 ½ hours
- Remove the tomatoes from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes
- Toss the salad leaves in the remaining olive oil and divide across 4 plates
- Place 2 tomato halves on each plate and sprinkle with the herb breadcrumbs