Home on the Range

Soup with adult edge

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1/2 teaspoon sweet smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons snipped cilantro
Croutinis (recipe follows)

Roast:
Tumble tomatoes onto a parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet. Slide into a 400-degree oven and roast until tomatoes are soft and splotched black here and there, about 15 minutes. Cool.

Swirl:
Scrape tomatoes and juices into the blender. Add garlic, scallions, red pepper, oil, vinegar, sugar, paprika and ground red pepper. Swirl smooth.

Strain:
Press through a medium-mesh sieve into a bowl. Work a rubber spatula against the sieve to press all the liquid through. Discard seeds and such.

Chill:
Season with salt and pepper. Cover and chill, about 1 hour.

Serve: Pour into small bowls or cups. Garnish with cilantro and croutinis (which, if hot, offer a nice contrast). Enjoy.

Provenance:
Inspired by a recipe from my friend Jennifer, who got it from her friend Jill, who got it from "Tomatoes" by Manisha Gambhir Harkins (Ryland Peters & Small, 2003).

Croutinis Trim crusts from 4 slices of white sandwich bread. Cut bread into small croutons. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil and 2 tablespoons butter in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 clove garlic, smashed, a pinch of salt and the bread cubes. Crisp, stirring, until golden all over, about 2 minutes. Discard garlic. Scoop out croutons with a slotted spoon. Drain on paper towels.

Leah Eskin is a Tribune Newspapers special contributor. Email her at leahreskin@aol.com.
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