Chilled Mushroom and Tomato Soup with Green Chilli

Cold tomato and vegetable soups can be wonderfully refreshing, like the Spanish gazpacho. Unlike gazpacho, the ingredients for this recipe are cooked rather than raw, which I think brings out the flavours more fully.

Ingredients

  • 450 g/1 lb ripe plum tomatoes
  • 3 large cloves garlic
  • 225 g/8 oz chestnut mushrooms
  • 2 fresh green chillies
  • 5 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 rounded teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • juice of 1 orange
  • 1 rounded tablespoon tomato purée
  • 600 ml/1 pint water
  • 6 tablespoons plain yoghurt (optional)
  • fresh lovage or mint leaves, to garnish

Method

Put the tomatoes in a bowl, pour boiling water over them and leave for about 2 minutes, then drain, peel and cut into cubes. Peel the garlic and slice thinly. Slice the mushrooms fairly thinly. Cut the chillies lengthways under running water, discard the seeds and stem and then slice the chilli halves across very thinly. Put the olive oil and garlic in a large saucepan over a medium heat. Let it sizzle for a minute or two until the garlic is just beginning to brown. Don’t let it burn. Add the paprika and cinnamon, stir for a moment or two and remove from the heat. Add the tomatoes, lemon and orange juice, mushrooms and chillies. Stir the tomato purée into the water and pour into the pan. Cover, put the pan over a high heat and bring to the boil. Lower the heat and simmer very gently for 30 minutes. Transfer the soup to a bowl, leave to become cold and then chill.

Just before serving, spoon the soup into individual bowls and add a large blob of yoghurt to the centre of each, if using. Finally, slice a few lovage or mint leaves and sprinkle on top of each bowl of soup.

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