This recipe takes advantage of the short-lived brilliance of summer tomatoes, combining them with the smokey flavor of smoldering hickory to produce a soup that's a hit whether you serve it hot or chilled . While I am listing plum tomatoes here, feel free to use any variety that you come across. Likewise, the herbs in the creme fraiche can be a combination of anything that's growing in your garden. —BestFoodBlogEver
8 to 10
Smoke the Tomatoes
plum or roma tomatoes
hickory wood chips, soaked
freshly ground black pepper
Prepare the Soup
fresh herbs, such as thyme, basil, and chives, chopped
sourdough baguette, sliced into rounds and toasted until golden
In an outdoor grill, prepare charcoal briquettes according to manufacturer's instructions. When briquettes are ready, spread them on one side of the grill. You may also use a smoker for this step.
Cut each tomato in half and, using your fingers, scoop out and discard the seeds and pulp. Arrange tomato halves in as few layers as possible in a disposable foil pan. Sprinkle with sea salt and black pepper.
Place the hickory wood chips into a packet of foil and place onto the hot coals.
Place the pan containing the tomatoes onto the grill, but not directly over the coals. Cover the grill and smoke the tomatoes for one hour. After the tomatoes have been smoked, you may refrigerate or freeze them until you are ready to make the soup.
Prepare the Soup
Bring the chicken stock to a simmer.
Add the smoked tomatoes. If the tomatoes are frozen, simmer them until they've thawed completely.
Pour the soup into a blender and puree. Taste for seasoning and correct if necessary. At this point, you may either serve the soup hot or let it cool to room temperature before chilling it in the refrigerator. When ready to serve, proceed to the next step.
Stir the chopped herbs into the creme fraiche.
Ladle the soup into serving bowls. Float a sourdough crostini in the center of each bowl, and top the crostini with the creme fraiche.