As a child, whenever my mother would tell us we were having tomato soup and Girl-Cheese sandwiches, I’d become sad, and have to fight to hold back the tears. I loathed tomato soup with every fiber of my being. Hand to God, I disliked it that much!
No, that’s not a typo. I really did say Girl-Cheese. My father passed away right before my second birthday. My mother was just days pregnant with my little sister. While growing up it was just the three of us, so you can see how I thought my mom was saying “Girl Cheese” because we were all girls. I had no idea she was saying GRILLED cheese. I liked the Girl-Cheese sandwiches, but tomato soup has never been a favorite.
Fresh tomatoes married with oven roasted tomatoes, garlic, shallots.
Wow! Won’t you take me to Flavor Town?
Would you believe me if I told you I also don’t like fresh tomatoes, either? Yeah, I’m flawed. You don’t have to tell me. “The Stud Muffin” (what I affectionately call my Italian Husband) tells me all the time that something is wrong with me because I don’t like eating raw tomatoes. Unless they’re added into salsa. It’s a textural thing. I’ve tried. Honest I have. I just can’t eat them raw. (Shudder)
Because the season of “not wanting to turn on the oven, much less step into the kitchen to cook” is quickly approaching, I knew I was going to have to get creative in the kitchen and find some additional recipes that didn’t require that I spend a lot of time being all dewy and inelegant in a hot kitchen.
We recently moved from Minnesota to South Carolina, and people. It’s hot down here. It’s hot and it’s humid. When we arrived here last August, our new neighbors told us that it was a really mild summer. Mild maybe to a Southerner, but not to a Midwestern girl. I still melted. Two showers a day, multiple changes in clothing. Ugh- cooking wasn’t happening much and we don’t typically eat out often, so I knew this year I was going to have to be prepared because I wasn’t willing to let nutritious meals take a back seat just because it was too hot to cook.
This garden fresh chilled tomato soup is perfect for those days when it’s too hot to step into the kitchen. The good news is you can make it a day or two ahead and let it get all happy-happy in the fridge. It will start to separate some, but that is easily remedied. Either whisk the heck out of it, or give it a quick whir with your stick blender or in a regular blender. I do mean quick. Like 5-10 seconds tops. Then it is ready to serve. How easy is that?
If you love the taste of in-season, fresh heirloom tomatoes, and oven roasted Roma tomatoes, with hints of sweet, mild shallots and the mellowness of roasted garlic, you must try this soup. Make sure you have some extra (fresh) basil on hand to chop prior to serving and some freshly cracked black pepper. I even drizzled some quality organic extra virgin olive oil atop my soup and after taking these photos, I ate the entire bowl.
If you think your kids might not get on board with cold tomato soup, you can simply warm this in a saucepan. It’ll taste fine just warmed through- not too hot though. It’s delicate. You’ll be more than happy to add this soup to your regular hot weather recipe line up. Especially since this is the first tomato soup that doesn’t make me want to cry. How’s that for a glowing endorsement?
- 2 pounds In season, local/organic heirloom tomatoes, cored (preferably red)
- 2 pounds in-season local/organic Roma tomatoes, cored
- 3 shallots, sliced thin
- 5 medium (to medium-small) cloves of garlic unpeeled
- 1 TB organic tomato paste (where to buy)
- good-quality salt and freshly ground black pepper
- ⅛th tsp cayenne pepper
- 2 TB quality imported organic extra virgin olive oil (where to buy)
- 2 tsp sherry vinegar (where to buy)
- 2 TB chopped fresh basil (wait to chop prior to serving as basil bruises easily)
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Heat oven to 375F and adjust rack to middle position. Line a large baking stone/sheet with parchment paper.
- Cut the Roma tomatoes lengthwise into quarters.Remove the core and as many seeds as possible. Seeds can be bitter, and we don't want a bitter soup.
- Cut ½ poundof the heirloom tomatoes in half horizontally and spoon out as many seeds as
- possible. Slice the shallots thinly.
- Arrange the shallots, and unpeeled garlic in a single layer over one area of the baking stone/sheet.
- Arrange the tomatoes cut side up and lightly sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Roast for 20 minutes then remove the shallot and garlic. Return the sheet to the oven and continue to roast the tomatoes until softened, but not brown. Another 12-16 minutes. Remove from oven, and let cool to room temperature. About 30 minutes.
- Peel the garlic cloves and place in a blender with the roasted shallows and roasted tomatoes. Cut the remaining ¾ pound of heirloom tomatoes into eighths and add to the blender with the tomato paste, heaping ½ tsp. salt, cayenne and a couple pinches of black pepper. Puree until smooth about 30 seconds.You may have to do this in two batches. If so, simply blend the fresh tomatoes with the spices , garlic, shallots and tomato paste, then add the roasted tomatoes and puree until smooth.
- While the blender is still running, drizzle in the olive oil in a slow steady stream.
- Pour the puree through a fine-mesh strainer into a glass bowl (not metal), pressing on the solids to extract as much liquid as possible.Discard the solids. Stir in the vinegar . Cover and refrigerate until chilled and the flavors have married- at least 6 hours up to 2 days, maximum.
- To serve, stir soup vigorously (liquid separates upon standing). Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and vinegar as needed.Ladle soup into bowls (chilled if desired) sprinkle with basil, a few cranks of black pepper from your pepper mill, and olive oil, if desired.; Serve immediately.
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