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A Sunny Soup for Dinner

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Tomato season is now in full swing at Sport Hill farm, and on Monday I filled my bag with plump little Sungold tomatoes the color of egg yolks. Once again, the minute I saw the overflowing tomato bins, I knew exactly what I wanted to make: chef Ana Sortun’s yellow gazpacho. When I first made it years ago, I remember shelling out something like $6 for a measly quart of the tomatoes at a tiny farmer’s market, but here they were…overflowing and free! (well, prepaid at any rate)

The stroke of genius in Ana’s recipe (which is from her cookbook Spice: Flavors of the Eastern Mediterranean) is that she purees some of the calyxes—the little crown of leaves on the top of the fruit—along with the tomatoes themselves, which lends the gazpacho that haunting tomato-leaf fragrance. A touch of sherry vinegar adds a brightness with nutty undertones.

Since I was having friends over, I put out all of the condiments separately to let everyone dress their own soup: no prosciutto for my pregnant friend, no bell peppers for my pepper-phobic husband. We had so many tomatoes that I actually made a double batch, so the only remaining question is whether that lovely, summery flavor will survive the freezer.

Sungold Tomato Gazpacho
(adapted from Spice by Ana Sortun)

Serves four

2 pints sungold tomatoes (leave calyxes on the tomatoes that have them)
1/2 small pita bread, torn into 1/2-inch pieces
1 cup sparkling mineral water
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 Tbs. sherry vinegar
1/4 tsp. turmeric

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 small cucumber, seeded and diced
1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
1 small red onion, seeded and diced
1 cup toasted croutons (toast torn pieces of rustic bread in olive oil)
2 thin slices prosciutto, crisped in a skillet and shredded

Put the tomatoes, pita bread, mineral water, olive oil, vinegar and turmeric in a blender and puree until smooth. Strain through a fine sieve into a bowl, pressing on the solids with a spatula. Season the soup to taste with salt and pepper. Chill until the soup is cold. Serve the soup with condiments passed separately so each diner can choose their own.


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