My five-year old daughter has loved tomatoes from the first time she ate one at the tender age of two. She loves them so much that she has earned the nickname “tomato bandit” among family members. When I brought home the Lillian’s Yellow Heirlooms that I used to make this soup, she really wanted to take a bite out of one of them. Her name happens to be Lily; like Lily’s Yellow Heirloom Tomato in a Glass, she is sweet and a little sassy. She loves this soup! Serve topped with cilantro coulis and a drizzle of cream if you like. I used martini glasses to serve this soup to friends last night; it is an easy, no- utensils-required way to present this flavorful soup - however, another kind of glass or little bowls would also work. You only need a little serving to appreciate the BIG tomato flavor of this soup. Note: In my experience, cilantro is a love-it or hate-it kind of herb; if it is not your thing, fresh basil in the coulis would also be delicious. - gingerroot —gingerroot
Test Kitchen Notes
This is a very refreshing starter, perfect for the heavy heat of summer. It has big, sweet tomato flavor and the cilantro coulis is a wonderful burst of complementary herbal flavor. I might start making the coulis and swirling it into everything I have. The soup is good for small servings, as gingerroot notes. I don't generally like soups without chunks (a personal bias), but this felt more like a drink -- a jazzy aperitif of sorts. – fiveandspice —The Editors
about 1 quart
for the soup
garlic cloves, smashed with the flat end of a large knife
crushed red pepper flakes
Lillian's Yellow Heirloom tomatoes, cored, cut into wedges and chopped
Apricot Heirloom tomato, cored, cut into wedges and chopped
Meyer lemon juice
for the cilantro coulis
cilantro leaves, packed, plus stems torn into thirds (I have found that there is so much flavor in the stems that I often include them, after thoroughly washing)
Bring water, sugar and salt to a boil in a small saucepan. Place garlic and crushed red pepper in a bowl or 2-cup pyrex measure; add hot syrup. Allow mixture to steep until cool, about 30 minutes. Strain through a sieve into another glass container, removing the chili flakes but leaving the garlic. (I just put the garlic back into the mixture). Refrigerate until cold, at least three hours or overnight.
Make cilantro coulis by combining cilantro leaves and stems and lemon juice in blender. With the machine on, drizzle in olive oil. Puree until thoroughly combined. Season to taste with sea salt. Transfer to a small jar with a lid and place in refrigerator until ready to use.
When ready to make the soup, strain the garlic out of the liquid mixture. Mix chopped tomatoes, syrup and lemon juice in a blender; puree until combined. Strain tomato mixture through a sieve into a clean glass container, pressing on the solids for maximum flavor. Cover container with plastic wrap, discarding seeds and skin. Refrigerate for at least two hours. Stir gently before serving, and after ladling into serving glass (or bowl) drizzle with cilantro coulis (using a fork or chopstick to gently mix coulis into sorbet) and/or heavy cream. Enjoy!
My most vivid childhood memories have to do with family and food. As a kid, I had the good fortune of having a mom who always encouraged trying new things, and two grandmothers who invited me into their kitchens at a young age. I enjoy cooking for the joy it brings me - sharing food with loved ones - and as a stress release. I turn to it equally during good times and bad. Now that I have two young children, I try to be conscientious about what we cook and eat. Right about the time I joined food52, I planted my first raised bed garden and joined a CSA; between the two I try to cook as sustainably and organically as I can. Although I'm usually cooking alone, my children are my favorite kitchen companions and I love cooking with them. I hope when they are grown they will look back fondly at our time spent in the kitchen, as they teach their loved ones about food-love.
Best of all, after years on the mainland for college and graduate school, I get to eat and cook and raise my children in my hometown of Honolulu, HI. When I'm not cooking, I am helping others grow their own organic food or teaching schoolchildren about art.