This soup definitely deserves an exclamation mark. It is just so good! It is a lifelong favourite and I find myself longing for a bowl as soon as the weather heats up. This is a chilled soup. I remove it from the fridge about 5 minutes before serving. If it’s too cold, the flavours don’t come through properly. It is often presented with ice cubes in the soup itself, but I’ve been told that isn’t traditional. That said, if you want ice, add ice! Life is too short to worry about a non-traditional ice cube or two.
I’ve annotated my recipe as there are a few substitute ingredients that would be absolutely fine. As always – change it as you see fit. I firmly believe that a recipe is a guide not a rule.
Serves 4 generous helpings or 6 more genteel portions
Suitable for Vegetarian and Vegan diets
- Approx 1 kg tomatoes (I remove the hard core but I don’t peel it or remove the seeds)
- 1 cucumber – peeled and de-seeded
- 1 red pepper
- 1 green or yellow pepper
- 2 garlic cloves, chopped (I used Lazy Garlic)
- 1/2 red onion (spring onions or shallots could also be used)
- 75g stale bread
- 2 – 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar or sherry vinegar (I prefer sherry vinegar but red wine vinegar works well too)
- 2-3 tablespoons olive oil (I used rapeseed oil)
- Salt and pepper
Optional ingredients used in this version of my recipe –
- 1 Kallø organic tomato and herb stock cube (I love its ultra tomatoey flavour, so use it when ever I can)
- Passata – this is to thin the mixture when blending. You can use water or stock instead. It may not always be needed, it just depends how much moisture is in your veg.
- Dice the tomatoes, cucumber, peppers and bread. Chop the onion. Add it all to a large bowl.
- Add the garlic, vinegar, oil, salt and pepper.
- Crumble over the stock cube if you chose to use one.
- Mix well. I gently massage it together with my hands.
- Cover and chill for at least an hour. The longer the better as the flavours combine and improve over time. I just leave mine in the fridge all day or overnight.
- Once it is chilled, you need to blend your mixture. You can blend all the mixture at this stage. Alternatively, remove a quarter of the mix plus a spoon or two for garnishing and set aside.
- Blend. You may need to add some passata or water if the mix is too thick for your blender. How much you add is just a matter of preference. I used passata, but water or stock would be fine.
- Taste your soup and add more oil, vinegar, salt or pepper if you think it needs it.
- Add in the reserved portion and stir.
- Go back for seconds.
I topped with some of the reserved mix plus an extra swirl of oil. Alternatively you could:
- Sprinkle with torn basil
- Scatter chopped almonds (I like to toast my almonds first)
- Add a dash of Tabasco or other hot sauce
- Serve with chopped hard boiled eggs (but not if you’re making for a vegan guest)
I hadn’t heard of the egg option until a reader kindly recommended it. It was a bit of a surprise but I’ve noticed it a lot now I know about it. I haven’t tried it but I’m sure it must be tasty or it wouldn’t be so popular.
Are there any other toppings I should try?