Cold Tomato Soup made in the blender

This is my variation from a recipe I got from MARTHA ROSE SHULMAN – NY Times 2010

 The key to this dish is the broth, which needs to drained.  I prepare this when I bring in my groceries before putting the food away. 

This puréed cold tomato soup is similar to gazpacho, but without the kick.  You can add jalapeno to spice it up if you like.   

2 pounds ripe, locally grown tomatoes,  cut into quarters

1 cucumber, cut into chunks

¼ of a medium sized red onion

Salt to taste

1 large garlic clove, peeled and crushed

2 tablespoons sherry vinegar

1-2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, (how much you use will depend on the consistency you want)  

2 tablespoons tomato paste

1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, plus a few leaves, slivered, for garnish

1 cup water

Take half of the tomatoes and all of the cucumber and onion and place into a food processor.  Process for a minute so that all the ingredients are chopped and almost pureed.  Line a colander with cheesecloth, and set over a bowl. Place the mixture in the cheesecloth and allow it to drain for at least one hour.   This creates the broth, which I call “tomato water,” which will intensify the flavor.   You can make this a day or two ahead of time.

When you’re ready to make the soup, add the rest of the cut up tomatoes, the garlic clove, the basil, tomato paste, water, and vinegar to a blender.  Blend until pureed. Season with salt and pepper. (If you want this to be spicy, add a jalapeño as well).    

Gather up the cheesecloth around the tomato pulp in the colander and squeeze to extract all of the remaining juice. Transfer the juice to a blender.  Put the top on the blender and turn it on.  While the mixture is blending, slowly add the olive oil through to small opening in the blender top.  Add up to 2 tablespoons of oil.   You are adding it to help make the soup creamy, so add it based on the consistency you want.  Adjust seasoning as needed.

Strain the soup through a medium colander set over a bowl, pushing the soup through with a spatula or the bottom of a ladle. Serve right away, or for the best flavor, refrigerate for for at least one hour and up to  24 hours before serving. Blend again or whisk before serving. Serve, garnishing each bowl with slivered basil.

Serves four large bowels or five small appetizer bowls.

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