Charred Tomato Soup With Coriander and Cilantro

Charred Tomato Soup With Coriander and Cilantro

A chilled tomato soup is most welcome on a sweltering summer day. Charring the tomatoes over coals or under the broiler adds a rustic smoky flavor to this one, while quartered and dressed cherry tomatoes and a spoonful of fresh ricotta or thick yogurt add substance and texture.

Ingredients

  • 3 pounds ripe red tomatoes
  • Salt and pepper
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • Pinch of ground cayenne
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds, toasted and ground
  • 2 cups roughly chopped cilantro leaves and tender stems (from 2 bunches)
  • 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, mixed colors, cut in quarters
  • 1 cup fresh ricotta or thick yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons snipped chives, for garnish

Preparation

  1. Prepare a charcoal grill or light the broiler. Remove cores from tomatoes and cut them in half horizontally. Season with salt and pepper on both sides and brush lightly with olive oil.
  2. Place tomatoes skin-side down on the grill and leave for about 10 minutes, until skins are blackened and tomatoes have softened slightly. (If using the broiler, place the tomatoes on a rimmed baking sheet skin-side up.) Transfer tomatoes to a large bowl.
  3. Add garlic, cayenne, coriander seeds, cilantro, 2 tablespoons olive oil and sherry vinegar. Stir all ingredients together. Let mixture sit for 10 minutes to allow flavors to marry.
  4. Purée tomato mixture with a blender or food processor. Strain through a medium mesh sieve, if desired. Thin with a little water if too thick. Taste and adjust seasoning. Chill well. (The soup will taste best if served within a few hours.)
  5. Put cherry tomatoes in a small bowl. Sprinkle with salt and toss with a tablespoon of olive oil.
  6. To serve, ladle the soup into chilled shallow bowls. Put a large spoonful of ricotta on top, and spoon cherry tomatoes over. Sprinkle with chives.

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