It’s been hot here. Really hot. Really, really hot. Smog, humidity and heat meant that Toronto got over 104 degrees Fahrenheit (40 Celsius) here.
Dana and I chose to go for our longest walk of the summer yesterday. It wasn’t our brightest decision – but it was a lot of fun. When we got back we knew we needed to have something to heat but the idea of heating our apartment or standing over a stove for too long was dire.
This recipe does call for peeling the tomatoes (which involves boiling water). I highly recommend you do this in the evening when things are cool or, like we did, using the side burner of a BBQ or a camping stove and drinking lots of beer to stay hydrated.
This was the first time I had smoked tomatoes. Peeling, halving and seeding them increased their surface area which allowed the smoke to easily absorb into the tomatoes. An hour of cold smoking was plenty and some may wish even less (Dana, who sometimes finds my cooking a little heavy-handed felt that the smoke was perfect for her).
This recipe is adapted from Alton Browns on the Food Network site. I stayed pretty close to his but varied the technique and balance of ingredients. I highly recommend doubling the recipe as the minimal amount of extra work will yield much more – and it’s just that tasty.
- 2 pounds tomatoes (around 6 plum)
- Stock (chicken or vegetable, about 1 cup)
- 1 cup cucumber, peeled, seeded and chopped medium (about 1 medium-sized English Cucumber)
- ½ cup red bell pepper, diced then measured (1/2 pepper)
- ½ cup Spanish Onion, diced then measured (about ¼ large Spanish onion)
- 2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and diced
- 2 medium garlic cloves, diced
- ¼ cup olive oil
- juice and zest of 1 lime
- 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 3 tablespoons basil, shredded then measured
- Cold smoker and wood chips (I used pecan).
- Start by prepping the tomatoes:
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Place the tomatoes, whole, in the water 2 at a time. The skins will crack (about 1 minute); remove and place in a bowl of cool water. Repeat until complete.
- Peel the tomatoes (the skins will come off with your hands). Cut them in half (across the middle so that the mark of the stem is on the bottom of one of the two slices) and, using your fingers, remove the seeds and ‘jelly’ from the tomatoes.
- Place the seeds in a fine sieve and force the liquid into a large bowl. Set aside.
- Light the cold smoker.
- Place the tomato halves (with the cut part facing upwards) in the smoker and smoke for 1 hour. Move on to next step as this happens.
- Prepare other ingredients:
- Measure the tomato jelly that you set aside in step 3 above (you can discard the seeds). Add enough stock to bring the liquid to 1 cup. Combine all ingredients (other than the tomato and basil) in a large bowl. Place in fridge to chill.
- Assemble the soup:
- Chop the tomatoes (medium) and combine with the other ingredients.
- Place 2 cups of soup in a blender and puree smooth.
- Chill until it’s very cold (a few hours or overnight) and serve with a garnish of basil (I like it a lot and add a lot when serving).