I love this soup, and once served gallons of it in a small restaurant I operated in Sonoma County. It couldn't be simpler to make, yet its bright, refreshing taste keeps everyone coming back for more. In the off-season, make it with canned tomatoes.
Saute the onion in the olive oil until it is very soft, about 20 to 25 minutes. For the last 2 minutes, add the minced garlic. Stir in the chicken broth. Add the tomatoes and stir well. Simmer for about 15 minutes. Remove the soup from the heat. purée the soup with an immersion blender or in a container blender. Add the Madeira and cook over low heat for 5 minutes. Remove the cilantro leaves from the large stems and chop it finely. Stir the cilantro into the soup, taste, and season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately, garnished with a spoonful of cilantro sauce.
Note: To make cilantro sauce, place 6 cloves of garlic, peeled, 1 jalapeño or serrano pepper, stemmed, and 1 bunch of cilantro, stems discarded, in a blender or food processor. Add 1/4 cup fresh lime juice, 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, and 1 teaspoon kosher salt. Process until smooth. This sauce will keep in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days.
Copyright 1996 by Michele Anna Jordan, author of The Good Cook's Book of Tomatoes. All Rights Reserved. Reprinted with permission.
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