Serves 4 - 6 Beginner
  • 2 pounds large ripe tomatoes, cored and roughly chopped (see note)
  • 1 heaping cup diced country white bread, crusts removed
  • 1 Holland red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and large-diced
  • 1/2 cup chopped red onion
  • 3 large garlic cloves
  • 1/2 cup tomato purée, such as passata di pomodoro
  • 2 tablespoons good sherry vinegar
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3/4 cup good olive oil, plus extra for serving
  • Toasted Croutons, for serving (recipe follows)
  • Cherry tomatoes, halved, for serving
  • Julienned fresh basil, for serving
  • Flaked sea salt, such as Maldon, for serving

Place the chopped fresh tomatoes, bread, bell peppers, onion, and garlic in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade or in the jar of a blender and purée until you can only see tiny bits of tomato skins. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and whisk in the tomato purée, vinegar, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon black pepper. Slowly whisk in the olive oil.

Cover and refrigerate the soup for just 2 hours to allow the flavors to blend. If you refrigerate the soup for more than 2 hours, the olive oil will congeal so if you want to prepare the soup ahead, make it without the olive oil, refrigerate, and whisk in the oil just before serving.

Serve cold in large, shallow bowls and top with the croutons, cherry tomatoes, basil leaves, flaked sea salt, and a drizzle of olive oil.

Toasted Croutons (Makes 1 cup croutons)

  • Good olive oi, such as Olio Santo
  • 2 1/2 ounces country white bread, crusts removed and 1/2-inch diced
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Pour 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a small (8-inch) sauté pan and heat over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking. Add the bread and sauté, tossing occasionally, for 4 to 5 minutes, until evenly browned. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper.

Note: As tomatoes are the main ingredient, try to use summer or farm stand tomatoes.

Copyright 2020, Modern Comfort Food, Clarkson Potter/Publishers, All Rights Reserved.

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