So, if I get around to it (shit’s busy all up in here, yo), I think I’ll try and feature some coooooool summertime recipes over the next couple of weeks. Because it is HOT AS BALLS out there.
First up: a cold tomato soup that is NOT gazpacho. I like the idea of gazpacho, and Santa knows I order gazpacho a whole heck of a lot for someone who hates gazpacho, but that’s just it; I HATE gazpacho. But this I like. It’s an old New York Times recipe that I’ve tweaked over the years, and now that tomatoes are showing up in the farmers market in full force, I (literally) crank out a batch once a week. So, let’s get started, hmm?
For four servings you’ll need:
- 5 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 1/2 teaspoons sweet paprika
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
- Large pinch of cayenne pepper
- 4 teaspoons olive oil
- 2 1/4 pounds tomatoes, cut into chunks (unless you don’t have a food mill, in which case, see below)
- 1/4 cup packed chopped cilantro
- 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
- 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1/2 large English cucumber, diced
- 2 tablespoons water
One more thing before we get started. This soup is super fresh, so if your produce doesn’t look like this:
don’t bother. Your soup will taste like crap. Don’t say I didn’t warn you. Also you’ll probably need a food mill to smash up your tomatoes and remove the skins. If you don’t have a food mill, you can always use this technique, to peel your tomatoes before blending them up in a food processor, but that just sounds like a giant pain in the ass to me.
Okay so I guess that was two more things. SUE ME.
Now, in a small skillet, stir the garlic, paprika, cumin, cayenne, and olive oil together. Place the pan over medium-low heat and cook the spice mixture, stirring constantly, for 5 minutes. This will remove the bite from the garlic and bloom the flavors of the other dry spices. It’ll also make your kitchen smell like Marrakesh, without all the incense and b.o. Anyway, this is what it will look like:
Remove the pan from the heat and set aside.
Next, pass the tomato chunks through a food mill fitted with a large disk.
This is the hard part.
When your tomatoes are all milled up, stir in the cooked spice mixture, cilantro, vinegar, lemon juice, salt, cucumber, and water. (What I'm saying is, stir in the rest of your ingredients.) Give it a taste, and add more salt if you need it. Refrigerate until cold, then serve, garnished with more cilantro.
And enjoy the antioxidant rush.