Chilled Heirloom Tomato Soup
When the weather heats up, a no-cook soup is a refreshing way to start a dinner party. A dollop of cucumber-crab salad on top of each serving puts a delicious new twist on the dish, but the soup is equally delicious without it.
- For the cucumber-crab salad (optional):
- 1/2 English cucumber, peeled and finely diced
- 8 oz. (250 g) jumbo lump crabmeat, picked over to remove any shell fragments
- 1/4 cup (2 oz./60 g) crème fraîche
- 1 1/2 tsp. mayonnaise
- 1/2 bunch fresh chives, very thinly sliced
- 1/2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
- Sea salt and freshly ground white pepper
For the soup:
- 3 lb. (1.5 kg) ripe heirloom tomatoes
- 3 country-style bread slices, cut into cubes and toasted
- 1/2 cup (2 1/2 oz./75 g) almonds
- 3 garlic cloves
- 1 tsp. sherry vinegar
- 1 tsp. smoked Spanish paprika (pimentón)
- Pinch of pepper flakes
- Sea salt
- 1/2 cup (4 fl. oz./125 ml) extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
To make the cucumber-crab salad, in a bowl, combine the cucumber, crabmeat, crème fraîche, mayonnaise, chives and lemon juice. Fold gently until blended, then season with salt and white pepper. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
To make the soup, place a fine-mesh sieve over a bowl. Cut the tomatoes in half horizontally and squeeze out the seeds into the sieve. Using the back of a spoon, press on the seeds to extract as much liquid as possible. Discard the seeds and reserve the liquid in the bowl.
In a blender, combine the bread cubes, almonds and garlic and blend until coarsely chopped. Add the tomatoes, tomato liquid, vinegar, paprika and red pepper flakes and puree until very smooth. Season with salt to taste. With the blender set on medium-low, drizzle in the 1/2 cup (4 fl.oz./125 ml) olive oil. Taste and adjust the seasoning.
Transfer the soup to a bowl, cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to overnight.
Serve the soup very cold in chilled glasses or bowls. Top each portion with a spoonful of the cucumber-crab salad and drizzle with olive oil. Serves 4 to 6.
Adapted from Feast Charleston, Charleston, SC