About Moroccan Tomato Soup

It’s too hot to cook. (If you’re reading this out loud, this is how you should say that sentence: “It’s toooooooooooo HOT to cooooooooook.” And throw in some pathetic wimpers and sobs in there while you’re at it.) Seriously, I don’t know if you’ve stepped outside any time in the last, oh, TWO MONTHS, because if you haven’t (LUCKY!), let me tell you, it is HOT AS BALLS out there. So the very last thing I want to do when I come home at the end of a long commute, deliriously meandering back to Chinatown in the 100-degree heat, is turn on the stove. (The first thing I want to do is jump in a swimming pool full of ice and unicorn tears, but that is neither here nor there.)

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.



  2. Yay! I have three tomato plants that are just beginning to produce, which means that in a couple weeks or so, I'll be buried in tomatoes with nowhere to run. This will be perfect!!

  3. That looks beautiful. Yum.

  4. I have this weird aversion to things with hunks of tomato, so I liquify all tomatoes prior to using them in recipes. Which is to say that this soup sounds highly non-sucky, in a liquified tomato sort of way.

    Also, the word 'gazpacho' seems like something that could be yelled by a wizard in order to turn someone into a tomato. Just sayin'.