Tomatillos are one of the first summer fruits (mid-June) at our farmers market. Sometimes called Mexican tomatoes, these firm green berries come wrapped in their own loose fitting husk, not unlike the Cape gooseberry.
A buyer at the farmers market last week said that she buys them every
summer because they are just too cute to pass by. Having said that, she proffered that she really doesnt know what to do with them other than dice them up for salsa. Tomatillos are tart, firm and fruitytoo tart and firm to eat raw. They are best roasted and pureed to bring out their herbaceous aromatics and the juices, which have a real hint of lemon. Their skins are pretty tough so I prefer to strain them out after roasting.
Tomatillos are an acquired taste. But for the bold, here is my tomatillo soup, served cold.
Roasted Tomatillo Soup
Yield: about 6 servings
See Abbreviations, if needed
1 lb (about 20) tomatillos, husked and washed
1 Serrano chili pepper, broiler-roasted, peeled, deseeded and diced
1.5T olive oil
1 large red onion, sliced thinly
1 garlic cloves, diced
2 large sprigs of fresh cilantro
1 quart home chicken
stock or chicken broth
1T sweet rice vinegar
3 slices bacon, sliced into ½ -inch rectangles (lardons), as garnish
2T crème fraîche or sour cream, as garnish
1. Slice each husked and washed tomatillo in half (crosswise), place all on a sheet pan and roast them in the oven at 450F for about 25 minutes
2. Meanwhile, place the chili pepper under the boiler and broil it until the skin blisters turning and watching so not to burn it. When cool, scrape the skin off, slice it open, remove the seeds, dice the flesh and set aside
3. Remove the tomatillos from the oven and place them and their juices into a food mill, placed over a stainless steel bowl (SSB). Use a food mill screen big enough to pass the seeds as well as the juice
4. Crank the tomatillos through the food mill to force the seeds and juices into the SSB and to retain the skins in the food mill. Set aside the puree in the SSB, discard the skins in the food mill
5. Finely slice the onion and sweat in olive oil, to translucent in a medium large saucepan or evasée, about 15 minutes
6. Add garlic, a generous amount of salt, 2 whole sprigs of cilantro, the diced chili pepper and the tomatillo puree from the SSB. Heat at medium high heat until the mixture is almost ready to boil
7. Add the chicken stock and bring the soup to boil
8. Reduce the heat to simmer, add the rice vinegar, taste for seasoning (this soup needs quite a bit of salt) and simmer for about 25 minutes to thicken somewhat
9. Remove the sprigs of cilantro
10. Puree the whole pot of soup with a stickblender or pour into a standing blender. Taste again
11. Place the soup in an ice bath or refrigerate to hold
12. Fry the bacon lardons to crisp, dry on a paper towel and
13. To serve:
· Add the crème fraîche to the cold soup and stir
· Garnish each serving with fresh leaves of cilantro, 5-6 pieces
of bacon and a twist of freshly ground black pepper.
Note: Only add cream to the portion to be served. Fridge
the leftovers without cream.