Core the tomatoes and roughly chop. Place in a bowl with the sliced shallot, roughly chopped herbs, white wine, sea salt, sugar and a twist of freshly ground pepper. Mix the ingredients together and cover with cling-film. Refrigerate for 4 hours to allow the flavours to infuse. After 4 hours transfer the contents of the bowl into a double-layer of muslin cloth and tie it up as tightly as possible. Place in a sieve over a large bowl to catch all the juice released from the tomatoes and return to the fridge for 12 hours.
After 12 hours the tomatoes will have released all their juice and the sediment will have dropped to the bottom of the bowl. Using a coffee filter paper carefully decant the consommé into a clean bowl taking care not to disturb the sediment on the bottom. Discard the sediment and tomato pulp.
The consommé can be served either hot or cold. If serving hot, place the consommé in a saucepan and gently warm over a very low heat. Lightly season the tomato concasse with salt and freshly ground pepper and spoon into a soup bowl. Pour over the consommé and garnish with the picked basil and tarragon leaves and slices of olive.
© 2005 Liam Tomlin. All rights reserved.