The Hand Off: Cold Arrogant Bastard Tomato Soup
By Brianna Bain
I left you on Tuesday with my brainstorm on using tomatoes and basil as my launching pad to a cold soup that would be an amalgamation of all the things I love to have in Summer: sweet, spicy, crunchy and cold. A soup that would take you outside the traditional gazpacho box and challenge all you cold soup skeptics to think twice before you pass up your next cold tomato soup option.
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When I left you last I had all but my hot sauce selection for my spicy Summer soup in order. I ventured down the road of creating my own heat with a combination of some mystery peppers and a jalapeño form my garden but I knew that controlling the heat would be difficult and I wouldn’t get the added flavor of a perfected hot sauce. So I let the experts, and great local beer makers, from Stone Brewing Co. in Escondido CA do the work for me. You may be thinking, what do beer and hot sauce have to do with each-other? Well, the peeps at Stone have crafted several sauces with some of their most popular brews as flavor enhancers. I recently visited the brewery and tasted a few of their craft brews, one of which was their Oaked Arrogant Bastard Ale, it is dynamic in flavor and unlike anything I have tasted before. On the brewery’s site it is described as an aggressive beer. Followed by “You probably won’t like it”- but you will! So when I hit the store for my hot sauce options and came across Oaked Arrogant Bastard Chipotle Hot Sauce I stopped dead in my tracks, no questions asked. Not only did I know this stuff would be great in my soup – it was locally made here in San Diego! It also added another element to “things I love in summer”: Beer!
The results of my Summer ensemble were more than I could have expected. Sweet: not too much – not too little, Spice: perfection, Crunch: CRUNCHY, and Cold: chilled to absolute satisfaction!
Cold Arrogant Bastard Tomato Soup
Yeild: 6 servings
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Chill Time: about 20 min
Total Time: 50 minutes
Tools: knife, food processor or blender (optional), large mixing bowl
- 2 lbs of tomatoes (select a variety for color, size and flavor)
- 1 large cucumber (I used an Armenian heirloom variety)
- 1 large ripe peach peeled and diced
- 1/4 white onion diced
- 2 cups of vegetable or chicken stock
- 2 Tablespoons white wine vinegar or rice wine vinegar
- 2 Tablespoons chopped fresh basil
- 8 teaspoons hot sauce (I used Stone Brewery’s Oaked Arrogant Bastard Chipotle Hot sauce)
- 2 heavy pinches of cumin
- Salt to taste
- Olive oil and fresh whole leaf basil for garnish
- Chop 3/4 of smallest tomatoes into bite sized pieces and add to a large bowl, chop 1/4 of largest tomatoes into pieces and reserve for food processing.
- Chop onion, cucumber, basil and 1/2 of peeled peach, add to chopped tomatoes in large bowl.
- Place reserved 1/2 peeled peach and 1/4 large tomato pieces into a food processor and blend until liquid. This should produce 3/4 cup – 1 cup of liquid. Set aside. *optional: see notes below.
- Add cumin, veggie or chicken stock,vinegar, hot sauce and tomato peach puree to chopped ingredients and mix well.
- Salt as desired
- Chill in refrigerator before serving.
- Serve with fresh basil garnish and a drizzle of olive oil. You can also serve with a dollop of sour cream or thick plain Greek style yogurt to mellow some of the heat if you made yours hot like mine!
Notes: The addition of the tomato and peach puree is optional. I saw it more as an experiment to give the soup a heavier liquid consistency rather than it being a clear stock base with chopped tomato. I did not want to blend the soup entirely because I love the crunch but that would also be an option for this soup. Soup is a very versatile food medium with lots of room to push the limits of traditional serving styles. One concern I had when making this soup was what would set this mixture apart form being salsa. I wanted this meal to come across like a soup on all levels while being fresh and simple to make. I think I managed to reach that goal here. I would love to hear your thoughts on this recipe and please share any of your cold soup insights below.
Happy Summer eating!
Brianna is a seasonal food enthusiast who spends her time helping to share good food stories as Co-founder and Editor of RecipeRelay and growing organic food for local San Diego restaurants as a Farm Manager with Urban Plantations.