If your counter looks anything like mine, there is only one thing to do! Tomatoes are best stored and eaten warm, so you’ll probably be starting with tomatoes at room temperature. Make this early enough in the day that it has time to cool thoroughly. It will be worth it, especially on these hot, humid, late summer days.
5 large, very ripe tomatoes
1/2 English cucumber, unpeeled
1 bell pepper, red or green
1 small red onion, peeled
1 large carrot, scrubbed and peeled
1 Tbsp. finely chopped hot pepper (serrano, jalapeno)
1/2 tsp. crushed red chili flakes
2 large garlic cloves
2 c. tomato juice
1/4 c. olive oil
2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1 tsp. salt & 1/2 tsp. black pepper
1. Chop the onion, bell pepper, carrot and cucumber, and divide into two equal batches. Put one batch in a generous-sized soup pot, and the other in a small bowl.
2. Chop the tomatoes, add one cup’s worth to the small bowl, and put the remaining chopped tomatoes to the large pot.
3. Pour remaining ingredients (tomato juice, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, chili flakes, hot pepper, garlic) into the large pot, and puree with hand mixer (or blender). Add salt and pepper and mix again. Add chopped vegetables, and mix gently, Do not blend again. Place in the refrigerator for 1-2 hours, until very cold. Serves 6-8.
5. Garnish with chopped scallions and serve.