Sometimes I'm too stubborn for my own good. Evidence? My Dim Sum Sunday Summer Soup. Years ago, there was a wonderful little lunch spot in downtown Kansas City, Honeymom's. A husband and wife operated in a shared space with a eclectic furniture store. Wasn't very big, wasn't very stylish but the food was excellent. I still pine for their Mussels in curry broth. One dish I remember in particular was a Tomato Water soup. The flavor of tomato was incredible but when I asked Migul Sanchez, the chef, why he didn't make this more often he just shook his head and tried to explain that it took too much time and product to produce the soup as a cost effective dish. I should have paid more attention. Years later Migul and Susan closed up shop and moved to San Francisco but left me with the idea of trying to make my own version of the dish.
If you'd like to make this dish there's a few things you'll need. 1)Lots of Tomatoes. I used more than 5 pounds. 2)Cheesecloth and space in your fridge for tomato drainage. 3)The Patience of Job. What you have to do is extract the tomato water from the tomato flesh. This is not the same as tomato juice. There are couple of methods for producing tomato water out there on the web, google and pick which one you'd most like to use. I rough cut my tomatoes and then gently broke them down in my Kitchen Aid mixer. I then ladled the tomatoes into cheesecloth and added a generous amount of basil fresh from the garden and clove of garlic. Then I gathered it very tightly and wrapped a rubber band around the neck. I threaded a wooden spoon through a loop of the rubber band and set it on top of a large deep plastic pitcher and set the whole rig in the fridge overnight.Hopefully you'll end up with enough beautiful amber liquid to make your soup. You may have to strain it again through a paper towel to get it nice and clear.It tastes like sunshine and rainwater filtered through a tomato. Now that I had my base, I wanted to add another element. What I wanted to do was to put a new spin on a Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup so I decided to make some cheese raviolis. I mixed up some ricotta, parrano and pecorino Romano cheeses and diced up a couple of slices of pancetta and stuffed the pasta. No salt, the Romano and pancetta are salty enough. I boiled my pasta in regular water so I wouldn't cloud up my tomato water.I'm sad to report that this is a really tasty soup. If I make this a second time I think I would make smaller, more bite size ravioli. I would also invest in a pasta machine to get my dough nice and thin. I love the cheese mixture, it deepens with the tangy tomato flavor. The broth is light and summery with just a hint of the basil and garlic. If you have a bumper crop of tomatoes, have at it. It's a wonderful soup, just hope no one asks for seconds.