The last tomato has been pulverized, the last photograph has been captured, all the images have been edited and my kitchen is an unholy terror with dishes precariously stacked on every available surface. That’s right. It’s Friday, the fifth and last day of the Tabasco 10 Ingredient Blogger Challenge. 10 bloggers posting 5 recipes in 5 days using only the 10 permitted ingredients (plus salt, pepper, oil and sugar).
So on this, the last day of the Tabasco 10 Challenge, I’ve made a chilled tomato soup from yellow cherry tomatoes and topped it with a Tabasco granita, brioche croutons and basil-cilantro oil. I know, it’s all fancy and stuff. It makes a tasty and refreshing summer lunch, the icy tabasco slowly melting into the cold soup, but it’s superb as an amuse-bouche. Packaging up all those flavors and textures in one bite is the perfect way to start off a summer dinner or cocktail party.
Yesterday I mentioned how much fun it’s been to see what the other bloggers have come up this week. I love the creativity and individuality in all of the dishes. I know I’ve spent a lot of time on the phone with my brother plotting and planning different recipes. The granita is one of the things that came out of one of those phone calls. I’m one of those people who things best when discussing ideas with other people; the back and forth gets my brain firing and my best ideas tend to come out of those sessions. Matthew and I were kicking around ideas and soup kept coming up, but we were worried that everyone was going to do some kind of soup. Then I stumbled upon the idea of a chilled soup with a granita and we were off and running. Although, I can claim no credit for the basil oil. That was completely Matthew’s idea and it was great.
One thing we discussed was how to make the granita pop on the soup. At first we contemplated blitzing in a bunch of basil to make the granita green, so it would stand out against the traditional red background of the tomato soup. Once we stumbled onto the notion of using only yellow cherry tomatoes for the soup everything clicked and fell into place. The finishing touches of the crunchy crouton and the rich herby oil make it such a beautiful and tasty bite.
So now I have a question for you, faithful readers of the internet. Have you been following the Tabasco 10 Challenge? I hope you got the chance to check out some recipes on the other sites (listed down below). What were your favorite recipes? What would you have made from the 10 ingredients? ( Tabasco Original Red Sauce, Swordfish or Tuna, Brioche, Eggs, any two of Mint, Basil or Cilantro, Dark Chocolate, Eggplant, Cherry Tomatoes, Cider Vinegar and Maple Syrup, plus the free salt, pepper, oil and sugar.)
And now, I’ll leave you with one final thought about the Tabasco granita: if you have some left over, it makes a banging vodka shot.
- Tabasco Granita
- 1 package Red Cherry Tomatoes (10.5 oz)
- ¾ C Water
- 3 Tbsp Sugar
- 1½ Tbsp Tabasco Sauce
- 1 Tbsp Basil, roughly chopped
- Cherry Tomato Soup
- 3 packages Yellow Cherry Tomatoes, halved (10.5 oz ea.)
- ¼ C Water
- 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
- ½ tsp Salt
- ⅛ tsp freshly ground Black Pepper
- Basil-Cilantro Oil
- ¼ C Olive Oil
- 1 Tbsp chopped Basil
- 1½ Tbsp Cilantro
- Brioche Croutons
- 2 to 3 slices stale Brioche, cut into small cubes
- 1 Tbsp Basil-Cilantro Oil, plus more as needed
- ¼ tsp Salt
- Tabasco Granita
- Wash the red cherry tomatoes and then process them in a food processor or blender until completely smooth. Set aside.
- Combine the water, sugar and Tabasco Sauce in a sauce pan and bring to simmer. Simmer for 3 minutes (or until the sugar is completely dissolved if any remains undissolved). Remove the syrup from the heat and stir in the basil. Let the basil steep in the syrup for 20 minutes.
- Strain the red cherry tomato puree into a bowl, making sure to get as much liquid through as possible. We're not trying to get a clear juice here, just to remove the seeds and any solid bits of pulp and skin. Next, strain the syrup into the same bowl to remove the basil.
- Stir the syrup into the tomato puree until well combined. Cover the bowl and put in the freezer.
- Stir the granita every 30 minutes as it freezes to prevent it from becoming one giant block of ice. As it becomes more frozen, you can rake at the ice crystals with a fork.
- Yellow Cherry Tomato Soup
- Combine the halved yellow cherry tomatoes, water, olive oil and salt in a pot and bring to a simmer.
- Continue to simmer until the tomatoes have released all their juices and the liquid has started to thicken. Stir in the black pepper.
- Carefully pour the soup into a blender and puree until smooth. Transfer the soup to the refrigerator and thoroughly chill.
- Basil-Cilantro Oil
- Combine the olive oil and herbs in a blender and blend until the herbs are as fine and the mixture as homogenous as possible.
- Transfer the oil to a small pot and bring to a simmer for 1 minute.
- Strain the oil through a coffee filter to remove any solids. You can gently squeeze the filter a bit to encourage the oil to move through it, but, unlike the tomatoes above, don't press the herbs down. That will result in a murky oil, which isn't what we want here.
- Once the oil has been strained, transfer it to a squeeze bottle.
- Brioche Croutons
- Preheat the oven to 200 degrees F.
- If your brioche isn't stale, go ahead and dry it out for 20 to 30 minutes in a 200 degree F oven.
- Once you have your stale or dried out brioche, toss it with the basil-cilantro oil and the salt. Spread the cubes out on a parchment-lined baking sheet and put in the 200 degree oven for about 20 minutes, stirring and flipping over the croutons half way through. If, after the 20 minutes, the cubes haven't browned, increase the oven's heat to 300 degrees F and continue to toast until the croutons are crisp and browned.
- Remove the croutons from the oven and let cool completely.
- Put your bowls or amuse-bouche spoons in the refrigerator to chill them.
- Once chilled, pour the soup into the bowl or spoon. You can store them in the fridge this way until you are ready to serve them.
- Just before serving, spoon some of the granita over the soup (you may need to rake up the ice crystals again with a fork), drizzle some of the basil-cilantro oil over top and garnish with croutons.
- Serve immediately.
If you liked this recipe, you may enjoy the following:
Roasted Broccoli Soup with Cashews | Peaches Please
Fresh Scallop Mango Cevice: an Amuse Bouche | From the Little Yellow Kitchen
Chilled Spicy Tomato Soup Shots | Bell’alimento
Chilled Ginger Cantaloupe Soup | Pinch My Salt
Want to see what the rest of the bloggers in the Tabasco Ten Ingredient Challenge are cooking up?
This post is sponsored by Tabasco. All opinions, photographs and words are my own.