heirloom·modern: Cold Tomato And Lemon Soup

19 Jun

Hello everyone, happy Monday! I’d like to introduce a new editorial feature today that I’m hoping will become at least a monthly, if not more frequent, feature. heirloom·modern is a way to resurrect forgotten recipes and give them a new lease on life. First up a cold summer soup from the Seventies.

Giorgio Sant’Angelo’s Cold Tomato And Lemon Soup

(Adapted from Food In Vogue by Maxime de la Falaise)

A few months back I picked up this book at The Strand . I thought it was cool, but I never really took it seriously until this weekend. Published in 1980 (back when Vogue had good food writers other than Jeffrey Steingarten) but containing recipes that go back to the ’40s it is broken down into two categories; recipes and menus that were features in the magazine, and a collection of surprisingly good recipes from celebrities (including a wonderful recipe for poulet a l’estragon from Jacqueline Onassis that will just have to wait until the weather is cool again).

This recipe comes from a menu created by the fashion designer Giorgio Sant’Angelo (apparently he was a favorite of Diana Vreeland) that showcases the flavors and aromas of lemons. The recipe as it was printed is barely a recipe. There’s ingredients that never get used, no measurements and steps that should be eliminated (as well as a few ingredients I felt should be added). If ever there was a recipe that needed (and deserved) a makeover, this was it.

What I came up with was easy, cooling and delicious, perfect for the first truly hot summer weekend in NYC. If I were to make this again there are four changes I would make. 1. I would add a rib or two of celery for sweetness. 2. I would make this only when I’m sure the onion I’ve just purchased that was marked “Vidalia” was in fact a vidalia. 3. I would use thai or lemon basil in place of the parsley as a garnish. And 4. I would eliminate the ice cubes completely.

I served this with a charcuterie plate and a lovely South African Chenin Blanc. Actually, at first the wine wasn’t so lovely, but the minute you tasted it after tasting the soup, the entire flavor profile of the wine changed dramatically. It mellowed and became almost buttery sweet. A wonderfully pleasant and surprising pairing.

Head below the jump for my version of this delicious summer soup.
Cold Tomato And Lemon Soup

prep time: 30 minutes ~ cooking time: none! ~ chilling time: 3-4 hours

  • 2 cloves Garlic peeled and smooshed
  • 1 750 gram box of Pomi Chopped Tomatoes, well chilled
  • 1/2 Vidalia (or other sweet) Onion finely diced
  • 4 Lemons, juiced
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Hot Sauce
  • Vinegar
  • Olive Oil
  • 1 English Cucumber finely diced
  • Milk (about 2 cups)
  • Herb of your choice to garnish

In a large bowl combine the garlic, 1/2 of the 1/2 of the onion (aka 1/4 of the onion) and the tomatoes. Puree withe a stick blender or in a blender or Cuisinart. Taste. Add half the lemon juice and taste again. If it is not lemony enough, add more (I ended up actually adding some more lemon juice as well, but I really like lemons). Add the other 1/4 of the onion, the chopped English cucumber, season with salt & pepper, hot sauce a tad of your favorite vinegar and about 1/4 cup olive oil. Whisk to incorporate.

Taste the soup. It should be pretty tart at this point but still flavorful. Add the milk to taste (I added the full 2 cups because I loved the texture and flavor it imparted) and whisk to incorporate. The milk may curdle slightly and that’s okay.

Add 8 or 9 ice cubes and stick in the fridge to allow the flavors to mingle. Chill at least 3 hours stirring occasionally. Serve in chilled bowls with bread to sop up the lycopene-y goodness.

Enjoy!

7 Responses to “heirloom·modern: Cold Tomato And Lemon Soup”

  1. Trish June 19, 2006 at 10:09 pm #

    Oh! What a fun book! I love old cookbooks. So jealous.

  2. Pamela June 20, 2006 at 12:12 am #

    What is lemon basil? (is it obvious?) I’ve never heard of that!

  3. ann June 20, 2006 at 7:17 am #

    it is exactly what you think it is pam! there’s so many varities of wonderful basil out there.
    right now, on my windowsill, i’m growing genovese basil, purple opal and lime basil.
    here’s a great link to more information: http://www.yougrowgirl.com/grow/basil.php

    Trish, if you ever want to do a similar thing, go for it and just let me know to check it out!

  4. lobstersquad June 20, 2006 at 9:42 am #

    That sounds like the most heavenly summer soup. And so elegant. I love old numbers of Vogue. that book must be a lot of fun.

  5. jenjen June 20, 2006 at 10:09 am #

    The soup looks delicious, good work on recreating what looked like an impossible recipe to follow.

  6. erin June 20, 2006 at 10:08 pm #

    Found you by way of the kitchen at apartment therapy. This looks great and simple. I’ll do anything to not turn my stove on in my (unairconditioned) apartment in the summer!

  7. Julie June 20, 2006 at 10:46 pm #

    It’s fascinating to read cookbooks of other eras, and see what still seems current and what seems unappealingly out-of-date. Eating habits really do change over time.

    That book sounds like a great find, and this soup seems particularly elegant — just what you’d expect of a Vogue recipe.

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