It’s no secret that Nomiku is merrily headquartered in the heart of the Bay Area, right in the balmy clime of San Francisco’s Mission district. Okay, balmy might be a BIT of an overstatement—as the well-known (and less well-known to be apocryphal) Twain quip goes, the coldest winter he ever spent was a summer in San Francisco. But putting aside the City by the Bay’s occasionally punishing wind and fog, we’re still smack dab in the middle of California, which makes us beneficiaries of a year-round growing season. Those of us who harken from less moderate growing zones may look upon November’s glut of heirloom tomatoes with suspicion, but there’s no arguing with the flavor: as sweet and summery as can be. (To avoid seeming overly smug about California produce, we should mention that hothouse tomatoes, sometimes sold as vine-ripened, will also produce a winning soup—just add a little honey or sugar if they’re lacking in sweetness.)
Naturally, with a cold fog rolling outside and a summer’s bounty of produce at hand, our minds turned to warm tomato soup. Not wanting to interfere with the star power of our tomatoes, we opted for simplicity. Cooking at exactly 85ºC captures the best of both raw and cooked tomatoes, softening them enough to make a creamy purée without dulling their sweet vibrant flavor. The only trick to this is getting rid of the tomatoes’ excess moisture, but as you’ll see, all that’s required is salt, a colander, and a bit of patience. After this, the soup comes together in a snap, cooked sous vide together with a little garlic, chili and thyme; just a bit crème fraîche and sherry vinegar to guild the lily, and the results are show-stopping regardless of the weather outside. For maximum nostalgia value, we served ours with gooey grilled cheese sandwiches for dipping, but this soup will shine even solo.
Warm yourself up with the soup recipe, right here.