Friday, September 06, 2013
Tomato Love Summer Soup
Given my absurdly successful experiences with starting tomato plants from seed, I am never able to complain of too many tomatoes, but, wow!, there are a lot of them coming ripe at once.
With three pounds of blanched and peeled tomatoes on hand, a take on the classic gazpacho cold tomato soup was easy to accomplish. I still had another two pounds for making pasta sauce, and that's not even counting the endless cherry tomatoes.
This is a refreshing soup with a little crunch. If you prefer really smooth, just keep the blender running longer. If you make a lot of this, you can keep it in a pitcher in the fridge and just pour out some when you need a quick, cool hit of yummy tomato bliss. The addition of red pepper, classic cucumber, and tangy celery gives it a more complex flavor, as does the onion and garlic. Since I'm not a big fan of raw onion or garlic, I sautéed and cooled mine before I adding them to the soup (absolutely not classic!), but you can go with uncooked if you prefer...and it will be faster.
Almost Classic Gazpacho
1/2 yellow or white onion, chopped
2-3 cloves garlic, sliced
1 tablespoon olive oil (if cooking the onion and garlic)
3 pounds fresh tomatoes, peeled
1 cup diced cucumber, peeled if skin is thick
1 cup diced celery
1/2 cup diced red pepper
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
Sauté onion and garlic in olive oil, if cooking, until onion is translucent and garlic light brown. Set aside to cool. If not cooking onion and garlic mix them and set aside.
In a blender, combine cooked or uncooked onion mixture, tomatoes, cucumber, celery, red pepper, red wine vinegar and olive oil. Pulse until mixture is of the desired consistency. I like mine a bit chunky, but it can be smooth. If necessary, process in one or two batches. Taste and add salt and pepper to taste.
Turn into a non-reactive bowl or pitcher and chill thoroughly, at least one hour.
To serve, put portions in either glasses or bowls. If desired, garnish with red pepper and/or cucumber cut into a fine dice. Crisp croutons are also a nice garnish. Serve at once while fully chilled.