2000s Recipes + Menus

Smoky Spanish Tomato Soup

Serves8 (first courses)
  • Active Time:30 min
  • Start to Finish:1 1/4 hr
March 2009
Bell peppers and cumin add sweetness and spice to this tangy tomato soup, but it’s the pimentón that really pulls all the flavors together.
  • 4 1/2 lb tomatoes
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon sweet pimentón (smoked paprika)
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1/2 cup coarse bread crumbs (from a day-old baguette)
  • 2 cups fresh figs or seedless green grapes, halved
  • Cut a shallow X in bottom of each tomato. Blanch in batches in a pot of boiling water 15 to 30 seconds, then transfer to an ice bath. Peel and seed tomatoes, then coarsely chop.
  • Cook onion and bell peppers in oil with 1/2 tsp salt in a wide 5-qt heavy pot over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 15 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, pimentón, and 1/2 tsp salt and cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until tomatoes are tender and falling apart, about 20 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, crush garlic to a paste with cumin using a mortar and pestle (or crush cumin with side of a heavy knife, mince and mash garlic, and stir together).
  • Stir garlic-cumin paste and bread crumbs into tomato mixture. Purée soup in batches in a blender until smooth (use caution when blending hot liquids) and return to cleaned pot. Thin to desired consistency with water and season with salt and pepper.
  • Serve soup topped with figs or grapes, depending on the season.
Cooks’ note: Soup can be made 1 day ahead and chilled. Reheat.
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