"You needn't serve more than a taste of this sweet-tart soup. It makes a stimulating, eye-opening start to a summer meal on a hot day." - Deborah Madison
|2 pt||tomatoes (Sun Gold!)|
|2||shallots (finely diced)|
|pepper (freshly ground)|
|3 T||vinegar (Spanish chardonnay, or champagne, plus a few drops of sherry vinegar)|
|2 t||chili (Serrano, finely diced and seeded, optional)|
|2 T||olive oil (extra virgin)|
|1||avocado (firm, diced)|
|1 T||basil (or cilantro, fresh, chopped)|
Place the stemmed and rinsed tomatoes in a heavy saucepan with a tight-fitting lid. Add half the shallots, 1/2 tsp of salt, and 1 cup water. Cook over medium-high heat, keeping an ear to the pot. Soon you'll hear the tomatoes popping. Take a peek after a few minutes to make sure there's still sufficient moisture in the pot - you don't want the tomatoes to scorch. If the skins are slow to pop, add a few tablespoons of water. Once they release their juices, lower the heat and cook, still covered, for 25 minutes.
Run the tomatoes through a food mill. You'll have about 2 cups. Chill well, then salt to taste.
Just before serving, combine the remaining shallots in a bowl with the vinegar, chili (if using), oil, avocado, and herbs. Spoon the soup into small cups, top with the garnish, and serve.