On 90°F days, there’s nothing less appealing than a recipe that requires standing at the stove. Super-ripe summer produce is the key to this chilled soup, which needs only a little prep and a few dishes (and thankfully doesn’t heat up the kitchen). If your blender is small, process the ingredients in two batches, or they’ll never get completely smooth. Serves 4
4 plum tomatoes, cored
1 orange bell pepper, seeds and ribs removed
¼ English cucumber, peeled
1 clove garlic
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup oloroso sherry (optional)
2 Tbsp sherry vinegar
Optional: grape tomatoes, cucumber, and black pepper for serving
Coarsely chop the tomatoes, pepper, cucumber, and garlic. Transfer all ingredients to a blender.
Add 1 tsp salt and blend on high until completely smooth. Taste and add more salt and/or vinegar, as needed. Chill the soup at least 2 hours.
Before serving, vigorously stir, shake, or blend the soup (it will separate as it sits). If desired, arrange halved grape tomatoes and diced cucumber in the bottom of a bowl.
Pour soup over vegetables, drizzle with more oil, and season with coarsely ground pepper.
PRO TIP: Buying Olive Oil
Extra virgin olive oil comes in a range of qualities. For uncooked recipes, or drizzling over finished dishes (what’s sometimes referred to as “finishing oil”), you want high-quality oil with pronounced flavor. Look for cold-pressed (applied heat extracts more oil but reduces health benefits) and/or first-pressed oils, and taste the difference.