Chilled tomato soup
This is an easy dish that doesn't require any cooking, other than toasting the cumin seeds. It can be served as soon as you make it, but if you have the time it's even better if you chill the soup for about an hour, so the flavours have time to blend and develop. You need to use really sweet, ripe tomatoes or the soup will be tasteless. I buy the local pear-shaped or oval cherry tomatoes, which are sold by fruit vendors. You can also make the soup with yellow or orange tomatoes, but the tomato garnish should be of a contrasting colour.
Ingredients 800 grams red cherry tomatoes, chilled
2-3 medium-sized garlic cloves, minced
2 shallots, minced
1 tsp cumin seeds
About 30ml extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for the garnish
About 15ml fresh lime juice, chilled
Fine sea salt
For the garnish
Yellow or orange cherry tomatoes
Fresh basil leaves or basil flowers
3 chives, snipped into 4cm lengths
Put the cumin seeds in an unoiled skillet and set it over a low flame.
Shake the pan constantly, toasting the cumin seeds until they're fragrant. Let the seeds cool then grind them in a spice grinder.
Put the tomatoes in a blender or food processor along with the garlic, shallots and ground cumin. Season to taste with salt, then process until combined. With the motor running, add the olive oil and lime juice through the feed tube. Process until smooth, then put the mixture through a fine-meshed food mill.
Taste the soup for seasoning and correct if needed.
Ladle the soup into shallow bowls then drizzle with extra virgin olive oil. Just before serving, add the yellow or orange cherry tomatoes, the basil leaves or flowers, and the chives.