Chilled Tomato Soup with Sweet Pea Puree
- TOTAL TIME: 45 MIN
- SERVINGS: 4
This gazpacho-style soup should be made with juicy, almost overripe tomatoes when they're in season.
- 3/4 cup fresh or thawed frozen baby peas
- 1 cup baby spinach leaves
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons fresh goat cheese
- 1 tablespoon freshly grated Pecorino Romano
- 1 tablespoon mint leaves
- 1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 5 cups grape tomatoes (about 3 pints)
- 1 medium European cucumber—peeled, halved, seeded and cut into large pieces
- 2 small inner celery ribs
- 1 1/4 cups loosely packed basil leaves
- 2 scallions, thinly sliced
- 1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 2 teaspoons harissa (see Note) or other hot sauce
- If using fresh peas, blanch them in a small pot of boiling water for 5 minutes; drain. In a small skillet, cook the blanched or thawed frozen peas with the spinach and 1/4 cup of the olive oil over high heat until the spinach is wilted, about 2 minutes. Let cool, then transfer to a blender or food processor. Add the lemon juice, goat cheese, Pecorino Romano, mint and lemon zest and puree until smooth. Season with salt and pepper and transfer to a small bowl.
- In a blender or food processor, combine the tomatoes with the cucumber, celery and basil and puree until smooth. Strain the mixture through a fine sieve set over a bowl, pressing hard on the solids. Stir in the scallions, garlic, harissa and the remaining 1/4 cup of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and refrigerate until chilled, at least 30 minutes or overnight.
- Ladle the tomato soup into bowls. Drizzle with the sweet pea puree and serve the soup at once.
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Congratulations to Mei Lin, winner of Top Chef Season 12.