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.
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
- 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.
- In a mortar, pound the garlic, parsley, and nuts. Emulsify with a little olive oil.
- 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!