on November 16th in Madrid. Rosa Tover, my colleague, a food historian, cookbook author, an editor specializes in translating foreign works to Spanish language booksÂ and a great chef, invited me to her home for a memorable dinner. Our dinner started with tomato soup from the Extramadura region of Spain. Unlike well-known gaspacho from Andalucia which is preparred with raw tomato along with raw bell peppers and cucumber in the hight of summer, this tomatoÂ soup is prepared only using tomatos. Adding cumin and bay leaf during cooking produce a distinctive soup whose flavor and textureÂ has no relationship to gaspacho. According to Rosa, the soup is made during autumn from fresh tomatos, and in winter from dried tomatos. Figs either fresh in season or dried out of seasonÂ are an important accompanyment to this soup. Rosa served the soup at room temperature noting that this is the best way to experieince the taste ofÂ the soup. The creamy texutre of soup with noticeeable acidity from tomatos and sweetness from figs orchestrated wonderful flavor in my mouth. Rosa shared her recipe with meÂ and here it is. Enjoy this delicious Extremadura soup just as Rosa prepared for me.
2 pound ripe tomato, chopped
5 bay leaves
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
Salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup olive oil
6 fresh or dried fig (dried ones needs to be reconstituted in lukewarm water), chopped
Heat olive oil in a pot. Add tomatos, bay leaves, cumin and salt & pepper to taste. Stir and cook forÂ 2 minutes. Remove the bay leaf and process the cooked tomato in the food processor until smooth. Cool the soup and serve at room temperature garnished with chopped figs.