Christopher Kimball of Milk Street TV announced that this chilled tomato soup was superior in both taste and ease of preparation to my beloved summer gazpacho. I had to try it!
This puréed velvety soup is more elegant, creamy, and filling than gazpacho. We ate it as a complete meal with a green salad. It can be made year round with Campari tomatoes, which I used, or made with peak-season summer tomatoes, of course.
This recipe was adapted from MilkStreetTV.com, contributed by Diane Unger. The bread is undetectable in the finished soup but creates the desirable consistency. The sherry vinegar is an essential ingredient as well. I loved all of the garnishes. Lovely.
Yield: Serves 4
- 2 pounds ripe tomatoes, cored (I used Campari tomatoes)
- 2 1/2 ounces country-style white bread, crusts removed, torn into small pieces (about 1 1/2 cups)(I used fresh sourdough)
- 1/2 medium red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and chopped
- 1 large garlic clove, smashed and peeled
- 1 tsp granulated sugar
- 3 T sherry vinegar, plus more to serve
- kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 3/4 cup plus 1 T extra-virgin olive oil, plus more to serve
- 4 thin slices of prosciutto (about 2 ounces), torn into pieces
- 3 or 4 hard-cooked eggs, peeled and sliced or quartered, optional
- finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley or cilantro
- In a blender, combine the tomatoes, bread, bell pepper, garlic, sugar, vinegar, 2 teaspoons salt and 1 teaspoon pepper. Blend on high until completely smooth and no bits of tomato skins remain, about 1 minute. (I used a Vitamix.)
- With the blender running, gradually add 3/4 cup olive oil.
- Transfer to a large bowl of lidded container, then taste and season with salt and pepper.
- Cover and refrigerate until well chilled, at least 2 hours or up to 4 hours.
- While the soup chills, make the hard-cooked eggs, if using. Fill a saucepan about a quarter of the way with cold water. Place the eggs in a single layer at the bottom of the saucepan. Add more water so that the eggs are covered by at least an inch of water. Bring to a full boil, remove from heat and cover. Let sit for 10 minutes, drain. Place eggs in an ice bath. When cool enough to handle, peel and quarter or slice. Set aside.
- While the eggs cool, place a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium and heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil until shimmering.
- Add the prosciutto and cook, stirring occasionally, until crisp, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel–lined plate and let cool completely, then roughly chop; set aside.
- Taste the soup and season again with salt and pepper. (Chilling the soup blunts the flavor and additional seasoning may be required.)
- Ladle the soup into (preferably chilled) bowls. Top with the prosciutto, hard-cooked egg (if using) and chopped parsley or cilantro.
- Drizzle with additional oil and vinegar, as desired. (I omitted this addition.)