Kitchen Vacation: Sopa de Tomate

It’s August, and that means you likely have hundred of pounds of tomatoes in your kitchen, either from your own garden or from the garden of that well-meaning coworker of yours who keeps bringing you presents. You’ve made BLTs and tomato salad and grilled-cheese-and-tomato sandwiches and you’re looking for something new.

It’s August, and that also means you wish you were on vacation, except you’re no longer a student, which means that August isn’t automatically vacation time. Instead, maybe you’ve just started a new job, and you’re staring at the next few months on the calendar, knowing that you have, at most, a three-day weekend in your future. No time for a real trip.

Making sopa de tomate at Cook & Taste, Barcelona, 2009

Put these two together, and you’re in need of some sopa de tomate, which takes advantage of the fresh deliciousness of ripe summer tomatoes and adds a little Spanish flair. I adapted this recipe from one I learned at Cook & Taste in Barcelona, which I can’t recommend highly enough: the instructor is fun and friendly, the classes are small so everyone can participate, and the food is all very tasty. Plus: lots of wine! Next time you’re lucky enough to be in Barcelona, make time for this cooking class, and be sure to take the pre-class tour of la Boqueria, a huge market near the cooking school. The tour provides more information about typical Spanish and Catalan ingredients and is a unique view into day-to-day life that you might not otherwise get on your trip.

Sopa de Tomate (4 “shots”–actually bigger than shots, but can be served in glasses)

  • 4 tomatoes
  • 1/4 c. grated Manchego cheese
  • 1/4 c. aioli
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 clove of garlic, peeled
  • 1/4 c. walnuts
  • 1/4 c. hazelnuts
  • 2 tbsp parsley (I am completely guessing on this measurement, as the original just says “parsley” and I don’t remember how much I used the last time. Guess I need to make it again!)
  • olive oil
  • salt
  1. Peel the tomatoes, seed them, and blend them together with the vinegar and a pinch of salt. Any seed or peel here will mess with the texture, so take the time to be careful.
  2. In a mortar, pound the garlic, parsley, and nuts. Emulsify with a little olive oil.
  3. Serve in a glass and garnish with a teaspoon of the garlic/parsley/nut mixture, a teaspoon of aioli, and some grated cheese.

¡Buen provecho! Or maybe, Bon profit!