Chilled Tomato Soup with Guacamole

During the summer months, the last thing you’re thinking about is soup, but this recipe may change your mind....
Staff Writer

Francois Payard

During the summer months, the last thing you’re thinking about is soup, but this recipe may change your mind. It's chilled, tomato-based, and topped with guacamole.

Ingredients

For the soup:

  • 2  Tablespoons  extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2  medium Spanish onion, chopped
  • celery stalk, chopped
  • 1/2  fennel bulb
  • red bell pepper, seeds and ribs removed, chopped
  • garlic cloves, chopped
  • One thyme sprig, one rosemary sprig, two parsley sprigs, and three basil sprigs, all tied together with kitchen twine
  • 2 1/2  Cups  water
  • large, very ripe beefsteak tomatoes, cut into eight pieces each
  • Fine sea salt, to taste
  • Freshly ground white pepper, to taste
  • drops Tabasco sauce
  • 1/4  Teaspoon  celery salt

For the guacamole:

  • 1/2  ripe avocado, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2  lime, zest grated and juiced
  • 1  Tablespoon  red onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2  jalapeño pepper, seeds and ribs removed, finely chopped
  • 1/4  red bell pepper, peeled, seeded, and finely chopped
  • cilantro sprig, chopped
  • Fine sea salt, to taste
  • Freshly ground white pepper, to taste
  • 20  basil leaves, to garnish

Directions

For the soup:

Heat the olive oil in a stockpot over medium-high heat. Add the onion, celery, fennel, bell pepper, and garlic. Cook for 10 minutes, until very soft. Do not let the vegetables brown. Add the bouquet of herbs, tomatoes, and 2 1/2 cups water. Bring to a boil and cook for 15 minutes, or until the tomatoes have softened. Season with salt and pepper.

While the soup is cooking, fill a large pot with very cold water and ice cubes to make an ice water bath. When the soup is ready, place the stockpot in the ice water bath to cool. Remove the bouquet of herbs.

When the soup has cooled, transfer it to a blender and purée until smooth. Pass the purée through a fine-mesh strainer into a bowl. Add the Tabasco sauce and celery salt, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Set the soup aside.

For the guacamole:

Place the avocado in a small bowl and mash it with a fork until smooth. Stir in the lime zest and juice, red onion, jalapeño, bell pepper, and cilantro, and season with salt and pepper.

Ladle the chilled soup into 20 small glasses or bowls. Place a spoonful of the guacamole in the center of each one, and garnish with a basil leaf. Arrange on a platter, and serve cold.

 

Tomato Soup Shopping Tip

Italian food is about simplicity and letting the ingredients shine. So make sure you get ingredients that are great quality and flavor. Farmers markets and specialty stores will have great produce and products. Just be sure to have some great olive oil.

Tomato Soup Cooking Tip

Unlike other highly regarded cuisines, Italian cooking is usually simple to make with many dishes having only 4 to 8 ingredients. Italian cooks rely chiefly on the quality of the ingredients rather than on elaborate preparation.

Tomato Soup Wine Pairing

Chenin blanc with cream soups; pinot noir, gamay, grenache, or other light red wines with tomato-based soups, including tomato-based seafood soups; sercial or bual madeira or fino or manzanilla sherry with consommé or black bean soup; amontillado with black bean soup.

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