- 3 medium tomatoes, cored and coarsely chopped
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons fruity extra-virgin olive oil
- Freshly ground white pepper
- 2 balls of packaged buffalo mozzarella with their liquid, at room temperature (see Note)
- 2 scallions, white and tender green parts only, julienned
- 2 apricotshalved, pitted and thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- 2 tablespoons finely shredded basil
- 1 teaspoon vin cotto, saba or aged balsamic vinegar
- In a blender or food processor, puree the chopped tomatoes with a pinch each of salt and sugar. Line a strainer with 2 layers of cheesecloth and set the strainer over a medium bowl. Pour the tomato puree into the strainer, gather the ends of the cheesecloth and tie with a string. Let the tomato juices drain into the bowl for 2 hours. You should have about 1/2 cup of tomato water. If not, gently squeeze the cheesecloth to extract a little more of the tomato water. Whisk in 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and season the tomato water with salt and white pepper.
- Rinse out the blender. Pour in the mozzarella liquidthere should be 3/4 cup. Cut each mozzarella ball into 6 pieces and add the pieces to the blender. Blend at low speed for 1 minute, then increase the speed to high and puree until smooth. Add the remaining 1/4 cup of olive oil and puree until creamy and smooth. Season the soup with white pepper.
- In a medium bowl, toss the scallions and apricots with the lime juice and season with salt and pepper. Pour 1/2 cup of the mozzarella soup into each of 6 small bowls. Spoon the apricot mixture on top and garnish with the basil. Drizzle a few drops of the tomato water and the vin cotto on top and serve right away.
The tomato water can be refrigerated overnight. Bring to room temperature before using.
Look for imported Italian buffalo mozzarella, which comes packed in water in 500-gram plastic containers, at specialty markets and at cheese shops.
The shoulders of Mount Vesuvius, near Naples, are the home of the Coda di Volpe grapeso named because the long bunches resemble the tail of a fox. It's used for minerally, dry Lacryma Christi del Vesuvio whites, perfect for this savory soup.