Photo by Stephanie Bourgeois

Ingredients:

  • Chilled Tomato Soup:

  • 3 cups unsalted chicken or vegetable broth
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • 2 sprigs basil
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3/4 cup sliced onions
  • 1/2 cup sliced leek, white part only
  • 1/4 cup sliced fennel
  • 1/4 cup sliced celery
  • 1 large red bell pepper, sliced
  • 2 large cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 pounds heirloom tomatoes, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 3 cups)
  • 1/2 cup tomato juice
  • Tabasco sauce, to taste
  • Celery salt, to taste
  • Salt and freshly ground white pepper, to taste
  • Basil Guacamole:

  • 2 avocados, cut into large pieces
  • 2 sprigs basil, chopped
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 5 drops Tabasco sauce
  • Salt, to taste
RECIPE

Chilled Tomato Soup with Basil Guacamole

Gavin Kaysen

Café Boulud, NYC

When a group of chefs from Daniel Boulud’s Dinex Group came to the Beard House, the multiple JBF Award–winning icon’s influence was felt throughout the menu. Gavin Kaysen of Café Boulud used a recipe from Boulud’s 1993 book, Cooking with Daniel Boulud, as his inspiration for this chilled tomato soup appetizer.

Yield: 6 servings

Method:

To prepare the tomato soup, heat the broth over low-medium heat in a saucepan. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Tie the thyme, basil, and bay leaf together with a piece of kitchen twine. Add the herbs, onions, leeks, fennel, celery, red pepper, and garlic to the pot. Sweat over low heat, stirring often, until the vegetables are very soft, approximately 15 minutes. Reduce heat to medium and add the tomato paste. Cook for 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the hot broth and bring to a boil. Simmer for 20 minutes. Add the fresh tomatoes, return to a boil, and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove the soup from the heat and set aside to cool.

Refrigerate the soup until cold, approximately 2 hours. Remove and discard the herbs and blend the soup in a blender until smooth. Add the tomato juice, and season to taste with Tabasco sauce, celery salt, salt, and white pepper. Strain through a sieve.

To prepare the guacamole, put the avocado, basil, lemon juice, Tabasco sauce, and salt in a bowl. Crush the avocado chunks with a fork and mix the ingredients well, keeping a chunky consistency. To serve, garnish each bowl of soup with a dollop of guacamole.