Total time: 1 hour, plus 2 hours for chilling
Serves: 6 to 8
3 pounds very ripe tomatoes (about 5 medium)
1/4 cup Sherry vinegar
1/2pound French bread, crusts removed, torn into small pieces (about 3 cups)
3 cloves garlic
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded and roughly chopped
1 medium red pepper, roasted, peeled and roughly chopped
1/3cup best-quality extra-virgin olive oil
Freshly ground white pepper to taste
1. Peel the tomatoes and cut them in half horizontally. Set a sieve over a large bowl and gently squeeze the seeds and juice out of the tomatoes, letting the sieve catch the seeds. Roughly chop the tomatoes, reserve the tomato water and discard the seeds. Add the vinegar to the tomato water, stir to combine, then add the bread, combining to moisten the bread.
2. Using a mortar and pestle, grind the garlic with the salt to form a smooth paste. Place the paste in the bowl of a food processor with the bread mixture and some of the tomatoes. Process until very smooth, then transfer to a large, nonreactive bowl. Process the remaining tomatoes with the cucumber, red pepper and water until very smooth. With the motor running, pour in the olive oil in a stream. Add the purée to the tomato-bread mixture, stir to combine and add salt and white pepper to taste. Chill for at least two hours.
1 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded and cut into ¼-inch dice
5 green onions, finely sliced
1 green bell pepper, cut into 1/4-inch dice
1/3cup toasted pine nuts
1/2 cup chopped green olives with pimentos
2 eggs, hard-boiled
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup ( 1/4-inch) fresh bread cubes
1. Place the cucumber, green onions, bell pepper, pine nuts and green olives in small serving bowls. Peel and separate the eggs. Cut the egg whites into quarter-inch dice and place them in a small serving bowl. Place the yolks in a small sieve and, using the back of a spoon, press them through the sieve into a small serving bowl.
2. Heat the olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Stir in the bread crumbs and lightly brown. Place in a small serving bowl.
3. Ladle the chilled soup into small bowls, and serve with the garnishes.