This quick and sublime summer soup is a picture postcard of my August garden in Provence. I grow two varieties of green tomatoes, Green Zebra and Evergreen. Each year I taste them side by side, and I still cannot decide which I like better. Green Zebra, yellowish green with yellow and white stripes, is sweet and tangy at the same time, while Evergreen (also known as Emerald Evergreen) is indeed emerald-colored, and along with tang and sweetness is a bit creamy as well. Of course this soup can also be made with red, orange, or yellow varieties. The gentle sweetness of the vanilla bean loves the company of tomatoes.
Don’t be afraid to let the mixture blend for a full three minutes, to create a thick emulsion. And use the best olive oil you can find, for the rich elegance of the oil really shines here.
This make-ahead starter is perfect to serve for summer luncheons. Start the meal with a bowl of soup, or serve it in small glasses to drink along with your meal.
See all tomato recipes.
- 1 plump, moist vanilla bean
- 2 pounds ripe Evergreen or Green Zebra tomatoes, cored and quartered (do not peel)
- 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
Flatten the vanilla bean and cut it in half lengthwise. With a small spoon, scrape out the seeds. (Reserve the pod for another use. I dry the pods and bury them in a large glass jar of sugar to flavor it.)
Combine all the ingredients in a blender or a food processor. Add 1/3 cup water and blend for a full 3 minutes, to create a thick emulsion. Serve very cold in glasses. (Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reblend at serving time.)