Charlie spotted this cold soup recipe in the New York Times on 7/9/2010. It is delicious and super easy to make. Perfect for a summer lunch. We've modified it slightly. (See notes about that and link to original recipe near bottom of page.) We usually double the recipe. Store leftovers in fridge; it's very good the next day.
Course Appetizer, Main Course, Side Dish, Soup/Stew
Servings 4 small


  • 2 very large tomatoes cored, or equivalent in smaller tomatoes, even cherry tomatoes (about a pound)
  • 1 cup plain yoghurt (or a little less or a little more)
  • 2 T. olive oil
  • 40 fresh basil leaves (after stems are removed, about 1 oz.)
  • 1 large clove garlic, peeled (optional)
  • 2 scallions, or perhaps 3 (white and light green parts, or a equivalent amount of purple onion or regular onion)
  • 4 ice cubes
  • 1/4 tsp. salt (can add more later, to taste)
  • 1-1/2 tsp. red wine vinegar
  • pinch cayenne pepper or a few pinches of chile powder, enough to give it a bit of spiciness (we use chipotle chile powder which is great)


  • Roughly chop tomatoes, basil, garlic, scallions/onions.
  • Put all ingredients into a blender.
  • Puree until smooth.
  • Taste and add more salt, vinegar, cayenne/chile, onion, garlic, basil, oil, yoghurt, tomatoes … if you like.
  • Store in refrigerator if not serving right away.


The original NY Times Recipe:
Here’s a link to the original recipe. Here’s the article in the New York Times about it. Here’s how we changed it:
  • We use quite a bit more basil than it calls for.
  • We reduced the amount of garlic.  It seems too much garlic can overpower the tomato and basil flavors.
  • We reduced the amount of oil.
  • We reduced the amount of salt A LOT.  Still plenty salty.
  • We reduced the amount of yoghurt.
  • If we don’t have scallions, we substitute other types of onions.  Purple onions work great.
  • We use chile powder instead of cayenne.  Heck, we might try fresh green chile one of these days.
  • We skip the fried pecorino Romano. The fried cheese was too salty and to our amazement we didn’t like the taste. You can easily leave it out. It’s just there for something crunchy on the side and doesn’t seem necessary. Might be good served with crunchy bread, however.

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