With summer entering it's last weeks, fresh tomatoes are plentiful. Turning ripe tomatoes into a cold soup for these hot days is a sure winner. If you can, visit a local farmer's market and get the ugly tomatoes. Trust me. Heirloom tomatoes may be misshapen and have split tops, but they have the best flavor. Sometimes you can find nearly over-ripe tomatoes at a discount. If so, grab them up. They're perfect for this soup.
Inspired by a recipe by David Tanis, this chilled soup is a winner. I served it will grilled cheese sandwiches and it made a very nice, light, meal. Toast with avocado would be a nice accompaniment, as well. If you can't get good, fresh tomatoes, this soup also works well with canned tomatoes. Use a 24 oz can, with juice.
Makes 4 servings
Take about 1 hour, including time to chill.
For the soup
2 pounds ripe red tomatoes, cored and diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbl extra-virgin olive oil
1 Tbl sherry vinegar
Pinch of cayenne
1 tsp salt, more to taste
Ground black pepper, to taste
For the garnish
1/2 medium green bell pepper, finely diced
1/4 cup red onion, diced
1 Tbl extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 Tbl sherry vinegar
1 Tbl chopped fresh parsely, or 2 tsp dried
1 Tbl chopped fresh chive, or 2 tsp dried
Salt and black pepper to taste
Put all of the soup ingredients (not the garnish!) in a blender and blend on high speed for 1 minute or until very smooth. Add more salt, pepper, and cayenne, if needed to taste. Put in a non-reactive bowl and chill for one hour or more.
About thirty minutes before serving, mix the ingredients for the garnish together, and refrigerate until needed.
To serve, divide soup evenly between four bowls, and place about 2 Tbl of garnish in the middle.