By Julia Rutland
This cool, refreshing summer soup makes the best of a big, gorgeous bounty of tomatoes. When your harvest is just beginning or ending, simply divide the recipe in half.
Makes 8 cups
- 3 pounds ripe heirloom tomatoes, cored, seeded, and coarsely chopped
- 1 cucumber, peeled, halved, seeded, and coarsely chopped
- 1 red, yellow, or orange bell pepper, coarsely chopped
- ¼ sweet onion, coarsely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- ¼ cup finely chopped fresh basil
- 2 cups vegetable or tomato juice
- ¼ cup red wine or apple cider vinegar
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1½ teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- Toasted croutons and fresh basil leaves for garnish
- Combine half of the tomatoes, cucumber, bell pepper, onion, garlic, and basil in a food processor. Process until finely chopped. Transfer mixture to a large bowl. Repeat with remaining half of tomatoes, cucumber, bell pepper, onion, garlic, and basil.
- Stir in vegetable juice, vinegar, olive oil, salt, pepper, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Cover and chill 4 hours or overnight to let flavors blend. Add salt to taste, if desired.
- Serve in chilled bowls and garnish with toasted croutons and fresh basil leaves.