Nominated for a 2011 IACP Cookbook Award in the American category. For a list of all the finalists check out our IACP Finalists' Guide.
Recipe from Lee Bros. Simple Fresh Southern by Matt Lee and Ted Lee (Clarkson Potter, 2009)serves 6
time: 20 minutes preparation, 30 minutes refrigeration
- 3 medium tomatoes (about 1 pound)
- 1 small yellow onion, finely diced (1/2 cup)
- 2 heaping tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro (about 6 sprigs)
- 2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar, white wine vinegar, or champagne vinegar
- Kosher salt to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 4 medium cucumbers, peeled, seeded, and cut into large dice (about 3 cups)
- 2 small jalapeño chiles, seeded and finely diced (about 2 tablespoons)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup vegetable broth, homemade (page 104) or store-bought
- 2 cups plain yogurt
1. Set a strainer over a medium bowl. Core the tomatoes, cut them in half crosswise, and using your pinkie finger, tease the seeds out of the cavities, letting them drop into the strainer. Tap the rim of the strainer against your palm for 30 seconds, until most of the flavorful gel clinging to the seeds dissolves and drips into the bowl. Discard the seeds.
2. Finely dice the tomatoes and transfer them to the bowl with the tomato water. Add the onion, cilantro, and vinegar, and toss. Season the salsa to taste with salt and black pepper, and refrigerate it. (Salsa will keep 3 days in the refrigerator.) Place the soup bowls you intend to use in the refrigerator, too.
3. Combine the cucumbers, chiles, garlic, vegetable broth, and yogurt in a food processor, and pulse until smooth. Season to taste with salt and black pepper, and chill for at least 30 minutes and up to 3 days.
4. Divide the soup among the chilled bowls, and garnish each serving with a couple spoonfuls of the salsa.