This weekend I am heading up to Burlington VT for the annual beer fest. (The motto: small state. big beer) It promises to me an excellent time. And I when I return I plan to combat all my indulgences with this soup recipe I saw in the Times this week. I’ll get to use my CSA garlic and perhaps we’ll get a bunch of tomatoes and basil next week . . .
Creamy, Garlicky Tomato Gazpacho With Crunchy Pecorino
6 tablespoons grated pecorino Romano
2 large tomatoes (about 1 pound), cored and roughly chopped
1 1/2 cups (12 ounces) plain sheep’s-milk or regular yogurt
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, more for serving
12 basil leaves, roughly chopped, more for serving
2 large garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped
2 scallions (white and light green parts), roughly chopped
2 ice cubes
1 3/4 teaspoons kosher salt, more to taste
1 1/2 teaspoons red wine vinegar, more to taste
Pinch cayenne pepper
Ground black pepper to taste.
1. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Spread 2 tablespoons cheese into a thin layer in skillet; let melt and brown on bottom, about 30 seconds to one minute. Use a spatula to flip cheese; let cook until evenly browned on both sides, about a minute more. Transfer fried cheese to a paper-towel-lined plate. Repeat with remaining cheese, working 2 tablespoons at a time. Break fried cheese into large pieces.
2. To make soup, place tomatoes, yogurt, olive oil, basil, garlic, scallions, ice cubes, salt, vinegar, cayenne and black pepper in a blender. Purée until smooth. Taste and add more salt and vinegar, if necessary. Pour into small bowls and garnish with pieces of fried cheese and chopped basil. Drizzle soup liberally with olive oil.
Yield: 4 servings.