stew & soup recipes: cold tomato bisque recipe by jacques pepin

stew & soup recipes: cold tomato bisque recipe by jacques pepin As the temperatures climbed into the 90’s today it was clear what would be on the table for dinner; some form of cold soup. Cold soups are so very easy and extremely fresh and healthy. It is a simple thing to take a walk through your local farmers market and find the produce that will yield a of a wide variety of cold soups. Tomatoes are plentiful this time of year and throughout the summer. Tomatoes are a fruit that is rich in lycopene. Solanum lycopersicum is a member of the nightshade family and originated in South America, most likely Peru. This versatile fruit was hailed as an aphrodisiac by the natives of South America. When the fruit was brought back to Europe the French seemed to feel the same way as the peoples of South America and they named this new fruit “pomme d’amore”, love apple. There is some speculation that the French misnamed the fruit when they misunderstood the Spanish “pome dei Moro”, apple of the Moors. Regardless of the name, the Europeans fell in love with the tomato. Early Americans were not so fond of the tomato as they felt it was poisonous. They grew the tomato for decoration. It was the European immigrants, from the countries where the tomato was embraced, that introduced it to American cooks as a delicious addition to their meals. Today we use the tomato in so many dishes that we cannot imagine a culinary world without it. If you are like us you adore tomatoes and use them regularly. In the summer, as in the winter, one of our favorite soups is tomato soup. In the summer we enjoy a cool refreshing version that requires very little cooking. If you are like us then you, too, despise turning on your oven or stove to prepare dinner on a hot night. The following two recipes are our favorites using the plentiful, versatile tomato. They are two different, but equally delicious recipes:

Cold Tomato Bisque (Jacques Pepin)

  • 1 tblspn olive oil
  • 1 potato, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 large onion, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme
  • 2 1/2 pounds ripe tomatoes, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 2 tblspn unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup fresh dill


  1. Heat the olive oil in a large, deep stainless steel saucepan. Add the potato and onion and cook over medium high heat for 2-3 minutes.
  2. Add all the remaining ingredients except the butter and dill, bring the mixture to a boil and stir it well, then reduce the heat to low, cover and cook for 20 minutes
  3. Push the mixture through a food mill to remove the tomato seeds and skin. Then emulsify the mixture in a blender to make very smooth. This is done in batches.
  4. Add the butter as blending one of the batches and then mix all batches in a bowl.
  5. Cool the bisque, then chill. When chilled garnish with dill and serve.

Cold Tomato Soup (Deborah Madison)

  • 4 pounds ripe tomatoes, peeled and seeded, juice reserved
  • salt and freshly milled pepper
  • sugar and/ or sherry vinegar
  • extra virgin olive oil or sour cream to finish
  • chopped basil or marjoram
  • 2 scallions, including a few of the greens, thinly sliced


  1. Finely chop the tomatoes by hand. , almost like a puree.
  2. Put the tomatoes in a bowl and add the reserved juice and 2 teaspoons of salt. Cover and chill well.
  3. Taste and add more salt if needed. If the tomatoes are tart add 1 teaspoon sugar and a fe drops vinegar. Taste and continue adjusting until it is to your liking.
  4. Ladle the soup into bowls and thread a spoonful of olive oil over the top of each (or sour cream). Add the pepper and garnish with the basil (or marjoram) and scallions
Photography Data: Featured Photographer Natalia Mylova
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  • June 29, 2012 at 12:41 am //

    I am so excited that we’re are on the brink of tomato season! Along the coast our warm weather arrives later than most of the country. Every year I wait..and wait! The enticing cold tomato soup has stirred a great longing for summer, a delectable post!

    • June 29, 2012 at 7:17 am //

      Thank you Deb =) I miss those late arriving summer hot days. We are in the midst of our rainy season and it is sticky, hot, tropical, wishing for it to get warmer only to put some of the humidity aside, soon enough, we’ll be breaking out the Sun Umbrella’s. We try to not turn the AC on as much as possible, love the fresh air.

  • June 29, 2012 at 2:58 am //

    I have never tried cold soup, but I’m intrigued! When the weather picks up here, I will definitely try this!

    • June 29, 2012 at 7:13 am //

      Me neither, until I became an adult, well… that isn’t exactly true, during those lazy summers as a child I would raid the fridge and eat cold spaghetti =)

  • June 29, 2012 at 4:51 am //

    There is another cold tomato soup I make every year from Jean-Georges Vongerichten. The recipe is on my blog. Don’t have it handy though. Good eating! GREG

    • June 29, 2012 at 7:11 am //

      It sounds like a must try Greg! I’m going to hop over and check it out. It is starting to get warmer and warmer so we are looking for quick and easy dishes.

  • June 29, 2012 at 3:16 pm //

    looks yummy and has beautiful colour!