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Categories: Soups, Vegetarian

Tomato Consomme

Tomato Consomme
Gary Friedman / Los Angeles Times

Tomato water may not sound like much, but it is an amazing ingredient. This intensely flavored clear liquid can be used by itself as a soup, or it can be part of a larger dish--a cooking liquid, a sauce or ... Read more

Total time: 1 hour plus 8 hours standing and 1 hour chilling | Serves 6
Note: Use the leftover tomato pulp for other dishes, such as pasta sauces or stews. Dried chipotle chiles are sold at Latino markets.
  • 18 to 24 very ripe Early Girl tomatoes or best available tomatoes (about 6 pounds), cored and halved
  • 1 dried chipotle chile, soaked in hot water for 30 minutes and drained
  • 6 each red, yellow and green cherry tomatoes, such as Sweet 100s, Golden Jubilee and Green Grape (or 18 of the best available cherry or pear tomatoes)
  • Salt

Step 1Place the halved tomatoes in a food processor with the chipotle and pulse until the tomatoes are finely pureed.

Step 2Line a bowl with a clean, damp cotton dish towel or a triple layer of cheesecloth. Pour the pureed tomatoes and chile into the towel. Bring up the edges of the towel around the tomatoes and tie with a piece of string to form a pouch. Discard the liquid in the bowl, which will have more sediment.

Step 3Hang the bag of tomatoes from a rack in the refrigerator or place in a colander suspended over the bowl. Let drain overnight.

Step 4The next day, there should be about 2 cups of tomato water or consomme. Strain it through a cheesecloth into a saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, 2 to 3 minutes, and skim any solids that rise to the top. Strain again. When cool, strain through a coffee filter. Chill for at least 1 hour and up to 1 day.

Step 5Blanch the cherry tomatoes in lightly salted water for a few seconds to loosen the skins. Remove the tomatoes with a slotted spoon and plunge them into an ice bath to cool. Remove the tomatoes and peel them with a small paring knife. These can be held at room temperature for a few hours before serving.

Step 6Season the consomme to taste. Place three cherry tomatoes in a soup cup and pour the consomme over.

Each serving:
48 calories; 413 mg sodium; 0 cholesterol; 1 gram fat; 0 saturated fat; 11 grams carbohydrates; 2 grams protein; 2.48 grams fiber.
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