Chilled Tomato Soup, Gazpacho Style
Chefs from Chez Panisse in Berkeley, California, collaborated on this wonderful summer soup, using only organic produce. This recipe is their version of the Spanish classic.
FOR THE SOUP:
1 dried ancho chile, stemmed and seeded
1 1⁄2 cups crustless, cubed day-old country white bread
2–3 cloves garlic, peeled
5 lbs. best available vine-ripened red tomatoes, halved
1⁄3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
FOR THE RELISH:
1⁄2 lb. mixed varieties and colors small vine-ripened
1 small cucumber, peeled, seeded, and diced
1 small sweet yellow bell pepper, cored, seeded, and diced
1⁄2 small red onion, peeled and diced
Leaves from 1⁄2 bunch chervil, chopped
Leaves from 1⁄2 bunch basil, chopped
2 tbsp. red wine vinegar
1⁄4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
6 slices country white bread, brushed with extra-virgin
olive oil, toasted, and rubbed with 1 clove peeled garlic
1. For the soup: Soak chile in a bowl of hot water until soft, about 30 minutes. Drain, peel, and crush to a paste with a mortar and pestle; set aside. Soak bread cubes in a medium bowl of cold water until soft, about 5 minutes. Drain, squeeze out excess water, and set aside. Crush garlic with 2 tbsp. salt to a paste with a mortar and pestle, add soaked bread, and grind until smooth; set aside. Grate cut side of tomatoes just to skin on large holes of box grater into a strainer set over a large bowl, straining out seeds and pressing through as much pulp as possible; discard skins. Stir reserved chile paste, garlic-bread paste, and oil into tomato pulp and season to taste with salt. Cover and refrigerate until chilled.
2. For the relish: Combine tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, onions, chervil, basil, vinegar, oil, and salt and pepper to taste in a medium bowl. Divide soup between 6 bowls; add a generous spoonful of relish and a slice of toast to each bowl.