The Height Of Summer

Because the weather has been so hot and dry, the quality of the tomatoes this year is superb. All the delicious subtleties of intense tomato taste shine through.  Every meal becomes an ode to the tomato. Cubed in a salad they are like little jewels of sublime taste, slow roasted in the oven they become a quick and incredibly satisfying sauce over pasta. This summer I realized that missing from our tomato repertoire was a chilled tomato soup. I wanted an easy to make recipe that  reflected the sumptuousness of the season. As usual, Cook's Illustrated came to the rescue.  Here is a tomato soup that hits all the buttons, no dairy products keeps it light so the taste is pure tomato, and because it's blended and then put through a sieve, the texture is as smooth as silk

Here's the recipe:


2 pounds field grown vine ripened tomatoes
1 shallot, sliced
2 cloves garlic
2 teaspoons tomato paste
 pinch of cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
A few grinds pepper
1/4 cup good quality fruity olive oil
1 teaspoon sherry vinegar

Preheat oven to 375°
Lightly oil a rimmed baking sheet

Cut 1 pound or tomatoes in half horizontally , and arrange cut side up on the baking sheet
Add sliced shallots and garlic to one side of sheet
Roast 20 minutes, and remove shallots and garlic to a small bowl
Return tray to oven, and continue roasting 10 more minutes, until tomatoes have softened.
Remove from oven and let cool.

Meanwhile, cut the remaining pound of tomatoes into chunks. Add to blender along with roasted tomatoes, the shallot, garlic, salt, cayenne and pepper.

 Blend for 30 seconds, or until blended. With blender running, slowly add the olive oil in a thin steady stream.

The soup will become creamy and light in color. Set a sieve over a deep bowl, pour the soup into the sieve, and with a wooden spoon or spatula press the soup through, leaving the solids behind ( don't skip this step, it what makes the soup so exquisite)

Add the sherry vinegar. Mix, and let chill. 



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