This Andalusian cold tomato soup makes a perfect lunch during the sweltering heat waves of late summer. It requires no cooking and it's convenient to have in the fridge ready to go. The olive oil and day-old bread are crucial in this soup as it adds flavor, creaminess, and body. The vinegar is an important seasoning as it helps to balance the acidity and give the dish a pleasant tang.
Ready in 1 hour 15 min plus 3-4 hours chilling time in the fridge
2lbs ripe tomatoes, cut into 1in chunks
1 medium English cucumber (8oz), peeled, seeded, cut into 1in pieces
1 green bell pepper (8oz), cored, seeded, and cut into 1 in pieces
1/2 small red onion (6oz), cut into 1-inch chunks
1 small chili pepper, medium-hot
1 large garlic clove, smashed
Colored pepper, freshly ground
1 thick slice day-old bread (3oz), crusts removed, torn into 1 in cubes
1 and 1/2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
1/3 cup olive oil, plus more for serving
Small bunch chives (optional garnish)
1 dry pint of cherry tomatoes (optional garnish)
In a large bowl, mix the tomatoes, cucumber, bell pepper, red onion, garlic, and bread together with 1 teaspoon salt. Toss well to combine. The salt will pull out moisture from the vegetables and it will allow the bread to soak and soften. This makes for easier blending and a smoother soup. Let it sit for 1 hour, covered on the counter.
Add the vegetable mixture into a blender in batches and blend on high until smooth. Stream in the olive oil slowly to emulsify. The soup will start to lighten and get creamy as the oil is added. Add the vinegar, black pepper, and more salt to taste. Blend one more time. Pour through a mesh strainer to remove tomato seeds and tough skins. Chill in the refrigerator until cold (3-4 hours).
Ladle the soup into bowls with a drizzle of olive oil, chives, and halved cherry tomatoes.
Make this soup using ripe tomatoes for the best flavor.
The time with the salt draws moisture out of the vegetables’ cells. It will yield a more flavorful soup in the end.