Food: Recipe

Yellow Tomato Soup

By Alexandra Guarnaschelli

Alexandra Guarnaschelli, executive chef of Butter restaurant in New York City, is a farmers’ market devotee who constantly shapes her menu to include local, seasonal ingredients. Her take on tomato soup celebrates that lovely juicy fruit in all its late-summer glory. Serves 6


  3 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  1 red onion, peeled and minced
  1 leek, dark green tops removed, halved,
     minced, and washed
     Kosher salt to taste
     Freshly-ground black pepper to taste
  3 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
  1 large bunch fresh basil
  3 pounds ripe yellow tomatoes
     Pinch of red pepper flakes
  1 tbsp. granulated sugar
     Cold water, as needed
24 ounces tomato juice (preferably
     Sacramento brand)
  4 tbsp. unsalted butter
 ¼ cup tarragon leaves, stemmed
      additional olive oil (for garnish)
20 basil leaves, stemmed (for garnish)
     A few sprigs of dill (for garnish)

1 Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion and leek and season them with salt and pepper. Using a wooden spoon, stir to blend. Add the garlic and basil and cook until all of the ingredients “melt” together, about 5 to 7 minutes.
2 Add the tomatoes and the red pepper and cook until the tomatoes break down, about 10 to 15 minutes. Add the sugar. Note: if the soup is “dry” or the vegetables are sticking to the bottom of the pot, add a little water as it cooks.
3 Add the tomato juice and swirl the butter into the soup. When the liquid comes to a boil, add the tarragon leaves and then transfer the soup to a blender, puréeing until smooth. Taste for seasoning. Strain the soup through a sieve or strainer with fairly large holes.
4 Ladle the soup into a large serving bowl or individual soup bowls. Drizzle additional olive oil over each portion; garnish with basil leaves and sprigs of dill, if desired. Serve immediately.

Issue 25

Sign up for Plenty's Weekly Newsletter