I have never eaten cold soup. This recipe was a total experiment. It was time and dish intensive, and it was complete perfection! The texture of the soup was amazingly smooth and the flavor was great, a lot more complex than just a tomato soup. I will definitely make this again.
Taken from Cook's Illustrated, July and August 2010 (p. 10)
Serves 4 to 6
Active Prep: 20 minutes
Inactive Prep: 60 minutes
Active Prep: 20 minutes
Inactive Prep: 2 hours - Overnight
3 lb (about 6 medium) ripe tomatoes, cored
1 small cucumber, peeled, halved, and seeded
1 medium green bell pepper, halved, cored, and seeded
1 small red onion, peeled and halved
2 medium garlic cloves, peeled and quartered
1 small serrano chile, stemmed and halved lengthwise
1 slice white sandwich bread, crust removed, torn into 1" pieces
1/2 C extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for serving
2 Tbsp sherry vinegar, plus extra for serving
2 Tbsp finely minced parsley, chives, or basil leaves
Ground black pepper
Roughly chop 2 pounds of tomatoes, half of cucumber, half of bell pepper, and half of onion and place in large bowl. Add garlic, chile, and 1 1/2 tsp salt; toss until well combined. Set aside.
Cut remaining tomatoes, cucumber, and pepper into 1/4" dice; place vegetables in medium bowl. Mince remianing onion and add to diced vegetables. Toss with 1/2 tsp salt and transfer to fine-mesh strainer set over medium bowl. Set aside 1 hour.
Transfer drained diced vegetables to medium bowl and set aside. Add bread pieces to exuded liquid (there should be about 1/4 C) and soak 1 minute. Add soaked bread and any remaining liquid to roughly chopped vegetables and toss thoroughly to combine.
Transfer half of the vegetable-bread mixture to blender and process 30 seconds. With blender running, slowly drizzle 1/4 C olive oil and continue to blend until completely smooth, about 2 minutes. Strain soup through fine-mesh strainer into large bowl, using back of ladle or rubber spatula to press soup through strainer. Discard seeds, tomato skins, and other solids. Repeat with remaining vegetable bread mixture and 1/4 C olive oil.
Stir vinegar, minced herb, and half of diced vegetables into soup and season to taste with salt and black pepper.
Cover and refrigerate overnight or for at least 2 hours to chill completely and develop flavors. Serve, passing remaining diced vegetables, olive oil, sherry vinegar, and black pepper separately.
Delicious! I wouldn't change anything about the recipe.