Chilled Tomato Soup with Guacamole from Francois Payard |

Chilled Tomato Soup with Guacamole from Francois Payard

Photo by Lisa McLaughlin
Tomato season has officially begun and we are currently gorging ourselves on as many tomatoes as possible. In tarts, salsas, tomato sandwiches and in this great Chilled Tomato Soup with Guacamole from James Beard award-winner and celebrated Chef Francois Payard.
Chilled Tomato Soup with Guacamole

For the Soup
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1Ž2 medium Spanish onion, chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
1Ž2 fennel bulb
1 red bell pepper, seeds and ribs removed, chopped
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1 bouquet garni (1 thyme sprig, 1 rosemary sprig, 2 parsley sprigs, and 3 basil sprigs, all tied together with kitchen twine)
8 large, very ripe beefsteak tomatoes, cut into 8 pieces each
Fine sea salt
Freshly ground white pepper
4 drops Tabasco sauce
1/4 teaspoon celery salt

For the Guacamole
1/2 ripe avocado, coarsely chopped
Grated zest and juice of 1/2 lime
1 tablespoon finely chopped red onion
1/2 jalapeño pepper, seeds and ribs removed, finely chopped
1/4 red bell pepper, peeled, seeded, and finely chopped
1 cilantro sprig, chopped
Fine sea salt
Freshly ground white pepper

For the Garnish
20 basil leaves

1) Heat the olive oil in a stockpot over medium-high heat. Add the onion, celery, fennel, bell pepper, and garlic. Cook for 10 minutes, until very soft. Do not let the vegetables brown. Add the bouquet garni, tomatoes, and 21Ž2 cups water. Bring to a boil and cook for 15 minutes, or until the tomatoes have softened. Season with salt and pepper.

2) While the soup is cooking, fill a large pot with very cold water and ice cubes to make an ice water bath. When the soup is ready, place the stockpot in the ice water bath to cool. Remove the bouquet garni.

3) When the soup has cooled, transfer it to a blender and puree until smooth. Pass the purée through a fine-mesh strainer into a bowl. Add the Tabasco sauce and celery salt, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Set the soup aside.

4) Place the avocado in a small bowl and mash it with a fork until smooth. Stir in the lime zest and juice, red onion, jalapeño, bell pepper, and cilantro, and season with salt and pepper.

5) Ladle the chilled soup into small glasses or bowls. Place a spoonful of the guacamole in the center of each one, and garnish with a basil leaf. Arrange on a platter, and serve cold.


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