- 3 pounds (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 cloves garlic, peeled and quartered
- kosher salt
- 1 slice high-quality white sandwich bread, crust removed, and torn into 1-inch pieces
- ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for serving
- 2 Tbs. sherry vinegar, plus extra for serving
- 2 Tbs. finely minced parsley, chives, or basil leaves
- freshly ground black pepper
- 1 small serrano chile, stemmed and halved lengthwise
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Vegetarian, Summer, Can Be Made Ahead
Active Time: 45 minutes, excludes 1 hour set aside time for diced vegetable.
Start to Finish: 1 hour, 45 minutes, excludes 2 hours to overnight in the refrigerator for flavors to develop.
Roughly chop 2 pounds of the tomatoes, half of the cucumber, half of the bell pepper, and half of the onion. Place in a large bowl and add the garlic, chile, and 1½ teaspoons of salt. Toss until well combined.
Dice the remaining tomatoes, cucumber, and pepper into ¼-inch pieces and put them in a bowl. Mince the remaining onion and add it to the diced vegetables. Toss with ½ teaspoon salt and transfer to fine-mesh strainer set over a bowl. Let drain for 1 hour.
Transfer the drained diced vegetables to another bowl and set aside. Add the bread pieces to the vegetable liquid (there should be about ¼ cup) and soak for 1 minute. Add the soaked bread and any remaining liquid to the roughly chopped vegetables and toss thoroughly to combine. Transfer half of this mixture to a blender and process for 30 seconds. With the blender running. slowly drizzle in ¼ cup oil and continue to blend until completely smooth, about 2 minutes. Pour the soup through a fine-mesh strainer into a bowl, pressing the soup through the strainer. Repeat with the other half of the mixture and the remaining ¼ cup of the olive oil.
Stir the sherry vinegar, the minced herb, and half of the diced vegetables into the soup. Season to taste with salt and pepper, then cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or, preferably, overnight. Serve, passing the remaining diced vegetables, olive oil, sherry vinegar, and black pepper separately.
We love serving soup in small cups (3 oz. glasses, or even 2 oz. espresso cups are ideal) as an appetizer. If you do that, this recipe will yield 10 to 12 appetizer portions.