In the heat of summer when running a blender is about all the cooking you can handle, this vibrant recipe from Border Grill chefs Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger packs a one-two punch for warm-weather cooking woes. It makes use of an overabundance of summer produce at its peak and any stale bread that’s lying around. Pro tip: be sure to use fresh garlic here, as the flavor of old garlic can dominate the soup.
1 quart (4 servings)
- 1 ounce day-old bread (approximately one slice)
- 1 medium cucumber or 2 pickling or Kirby cucumbers, chopped
- 1 stalk celery, chopped
- 1 tomato, cored and quartered
- 1/2 small green bell pepper, cored and seeded
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled
- 1 jalapeño, seeds optional, roughly chopped
- 16 ounces fresh tomato puree (if it’s not peak tomato season, substitute tomato juice)
- Optional garnishes: chopped chives and chervil, diced tomatillo and tomato, and a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil
In a bowl, soak the bread in water for 5 minutes to rehydrate. Squeeze out any excess water.
Put rehydrated bread in a blender and puree it with the cucumber, celery, tomato, green pepper, garlic, and jalapeño. Add the tomato puree (or juice) and process until smooth.
Serve in bowls with a garnish of chives, chervil, diced tomatillo and tomato, and a drizzle of olive oil.