When tomatoes are so ripe that they barely need anything besides salt, we cook them in a pot with a few herbs and work them through a food mill. What results is the most glorious summer soup. Ladle it into teacups for guests to sip hot. We often make this soup in large quantities and freeze it for winter.
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
3-1/2-4 pounds (6 large) ripe tomatoes, cored
and cut into 2-inch pieces
1 teaspoon coarse salt, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
Large handful fresh herbs on their sprigs
(thyme, basil, rosemary)
Pinch of crushed red pepper
Pinch of sugar
In a large, flameproof casserole, heat the oil and add the tomatoes, salt, and pepper. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring often, for 2 minutes, or until the tomatoes begin to release their juices.
Add the herbs and red pepper. Bring to a boil. (If the tomatoes are not very ripe, add 1/2 cup water and a pinch of sugar to the pan.) Turn the heat to low and cook the tomatoes for 15 minutes, or until they collapse completely.
Transfer the mixture, a little at a time, to a food mill set over a large bowl. purée the tomatoes. Return the purée to the pan and heat it just until boiling. Taste for seasoning and add more salt and black pepper, if you like. Ladle it into teacups and serve at once.
The Way We Cook
Recipes from the New American Kitchen
by Sheryl Julian and Julie Riven
Hardcover; 400 pages
Recipe reprinted by permission.
This page created June 2003
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