Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Summer has Arrived

Sometimes Summer takes a little time to come to San Francisco. It finally decided to show up this year in mid-June. (Yes, I am waaaay behind on blog posts. Trying to play catch up here!)

Dahlias are in season. I love flowers that look like they grew in someone's garden rather than in a greenhouse.

It's time for summer fabrics. I love being able to break out cotton and linen and great summer prints.

And it's time for tomatoes. Gorgeous red heirloom tomatoes. The kind that actually taste like tomatoes. Not like paste. Or what I imagine paste to taste like. I was never a paste-eater, myself. Epicurean from birth, I tell you. 

With the warm summer weather, a chilled tomato soup was in order. I set off in search of a new gazpacho recipe but found this one from Charlie Trotter and Roxanne Klein that sounded divine, like the chic uptown version of that Spanish summer favorite.

by Charlie Trotter and Roxanne Klein, excerpted from Raw

Yield: Makes 4 servings


2 large, red heirloom tomatoes, peeled and seeded
1/2 jalapeño chile, seeded and chopped
1/2 cup chopped, peeled cucumber
2 teaspoons sherry wine vinegar
Celtic sea salt and freshly ground pepper

1 3-inch-long baby fennel, thinly shaved on a mandoline (If you don't have a mandoline, maybe try a sharp veggie peeler?)
12 arbequina olives, pitted and quartered (Ok, seriously Charlie? These do not exist in several well-stocked SF grocery stores. I subbed kalamata because it was what I had at home although I might use green olives next time)
1/4 cup peeled, seeded, and diced red tomato (Totally forgot this ingredient. Don't think it affected my end product.)
2 teaspoons brine from olives
2 teaspoons sherry wine vinegar
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
12 micro fennel sprouts or fennel fronds (Micro fennel sprouts, really??)


To make the soup: In a high-speed blender, combine the tomatoes, chile, cucumber, and vinegar and process until smooth.

Ready for blending!
You can't tell, but this is an action shot.

Pass the purée through a fine-mesh sieve and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Straining the soup (because I didn't peel the tomatoes before blending, and I would suggest you leave your peels on as well) was the only time consuming part of this recipe. And by "time consuming" I mean five minutes, tops.


Ladle one-fourth of the soup into each bowl. Garnish with the fennel, olives, and tomato. Drizzle the olive brine, vinegar, and olive oil around the soup. Sprinkle with the fennel sprouts.

I put the mandoline to work on the fennel for perfectly thin shavings. The next day, when I ate the leftovers, I set the mandoline one click too thick and ended up with giant awkward pieces of fennel in my soup. Evidently 1/16" matters more than you might think but I guess that's why Six Sigma exists.

For a bunch of stuff just blended together, this soup is surprisingly tomato-y and really fresh and delicious. Plus, it's no-cook. Love!

Happy Summer!

1 comment:

Jennifer J said...

I am *totally* going to make that during the hot summer here! Love your blog Kate (LinkedIn notified me that you'd updated your profile to add the blog). Hope you're having a fantastic summer in San Fran and loving the new job.