Spiga’s Tuscan-Style Chilled Tomato Soup
Panzanella meets Gazpacho
Courtesy of Spiga’s Executive Chef, Robert DeSimone
Cool off in Tuscany with this chilled tomato soup that requires no cooking. The panzanella salad, here used as a garnish, is firmly rooted in the cuisine of Tuscany which developed as a clever use for day old bread and a surplus of ripe tomatoes. Toss the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth and out comes a dish very reminiscent of the gazpacho of Spanish Andalusian cuisine.
To satisfy your cravings you can often find this dish at Spiga Ristorante, or you can try to make it yourself with the freshest and ripest ingredients you can find all summer long here at Volante Farms.
For four to six portions you will need…
- 1 pound very ripe tomatoes, cored
- ½ cucumber, deseeded if preferred
- ½ small red onion
- ½ red pepper, cleaned and deseeded
- ½ jalapeno pepper, cleaned and deseeded
- ½ clove garlic
- 2 ounces day old bread
- 6 ounces very good extra virgin olive oil such as Dominus
- Tsp Red wine vinegar
- Tsp Salt and Pepper to taste
- basil for garnish
Procedure for soup:
Wash vegetables and rough cut all ingredients to help fit in blender. Add red wine vinegar (use more if a more acidic bite is preferred), extra virgin olive oil and salt and pepper to your liking and blend on high for about two minutes or so until mixture is smooth(add about 2-3 oz. of water for a thinner soup if desired). Pass through mesh sieve to remove residual pulp for a more refined soup (Alternately, to prepare a more rustic soup grind through a food mill). Chill in refrigerator for several hours.
For panzanella salad garnish use the remainder of the vegetables from making the soup plus a few more ingredients…
- 1 ripe tomato, diced
- 2 ounces of bread, cubed and toasted lightly, if desired
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Red wine vinegar
- Salt and pepper
Deseed and dice jalepeno, red pepper and cucumber. Dice red onion and tomato and add to a bowl with lightly toasted bread. Toss all ingredients with oil and vinegar, salt and pepper. Pour about 6-8 ounces of soup in a bowl, garnish with a spoonful of panzanella, drizzle with a little more olive oil and chiffonade of basil.