Tomato Velvet Soup
- 2 pounds fresh, ripe tomatoes (do not use. canned)
- 1 medium Vldalla or other sweetonion, split, peeled and thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 whole small hot red pepper
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 large sprig parsley
- 1 1/2 cups whole milk or half-and-half
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons each thinly sliced chives (or green onion tops) and fresh basil
- Whole white pepper In a pepper mill
The secret to this soup's delicate flavor is that the basil is never exposed to heat, which often
makes the herb taste rather harsh and sharp.
1. Blanch tomatoes with boiling water, core them and slip off peelings. Working over a sieve set
over a large bowl, split crosswise and scoop out seeds into sieve. Discard seeds and roughly chop
tomatoes. Add to collected juices and set aside.
2. Sweat onion in butter in a soup pot over medium heat until wilted and translucent, but not
colored, about 10 minutes. Add tomatoes and juice, water, hot pepper (left whole), parsley and a
large pinch salt. Bring to boil, reduce heat to low and simmer slowly until tomatoes break down and
onion is tender, about 30 minutes. Turn off heat.
3. Remove and discard hot pepper and parsley. Puree in a blender or food processor. Stir in milk or
half and half. Cool, cover and chill. Taste and adjust seasonings.
4. Drizzle each serving with cream or whip cream until it holds soft peaks and put a dollop in center
of each serving. Sprinkle with herbs and white pepper.