My Recipe Box

Chilled Fresh Tomato, Basil, and Bread Soup

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Serves six.

  • by Pamela Anderson from Fine Cooking
    Issue 100

Bread helps thicken this lovely summer soup, and blanching the basil before puréeing helps its color stay fresh-looking.

  • 1/2 lb. day-old French bread, crust removed, crumb cut into 1/4 -inch cubes (3 cups)
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 cup lightly packed fresh basil leaves; more for garnish
  • 2 lb. ripe tomatoes, cored and chopped (5 cups)
  • 1 large clove garlic, roughly chopped
  • 2 tsp. sherry vinegar
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 350°F. Spread the bread cubes on a rimmed baking sheet and toast in the oven until lightly golden and crisp, about 15 minutes.

Bring a medium pot of well-salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the basil and cook until wilted, about 30 seconds. Drain and run under cold water. Pat dry with paper towels and roughly chop.

In a blender, purée the basil, tomatoes, garlic, and 2 cups ice-cold water for about 45 seconds. Strain through a fine sieve to remove the solids and return the purée to the blender.

Add the bread, vinegar, and 2 tsp. salt and blend until puréed, about 2 minutes. The soup should be very smooth; if it’s not, continue blending. Add the olive oil and process a few more seconds to combine. Divide among 6 soup bowls and garnish with basil sprigs, or refrigerate until ready to use.

Make Ahead Tips

The soup can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 210; Fat (g): 9; Fat Calories (kcal): 80; Saturated Fat (g): 1.5; Protein (g): 5; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 7; Carbohydrates (g): 26; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 1; Sodium (mg): 600; Cholesterol (mg): 0; Fiber (g): 2;

Photo: Scott Phillips

This is absolutely delicious! Great way to use the bounty of your garden, or the treasures from the latest trip to the farmer's market. I did not put the full 2 tsp. salt into the soup at first, as I was afraid it might become overly salty. Instead, I put in 1 tsp. at first, blended, tasted, then added additional salt-and in the end the 2 tsp. turned out to be right. Still, I would recommend putting in 1 tsp. at first, taste and adjust the salt to your own tastes. Great soup for a very hot summer day!

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