This subtly refined cold tomato soup is our chef’s interpretation of gazpacho – Bordeaux-style. It’s the perfect first course on a hot summer night.

Bordeaux, and especially the capital city that gives the region its name, is considered one of the gastronomic highlights of France. According to a 2017 survey from French food website Atabula, Paris is only the second best food city in France. In addition to being the wine capital of the world, Bordeaux is now ranked the number one place to eat in France.

The Belly of Bordeaux

Traditional Bordelaise cooking is mostly rustic, including fresh oysters and mussels from the nearby coast in Arcachon, Entrecôte à la Bordelaise (steak served in a classic red wine, shallot, and beef marrow sauce) and fresh seasonal produce.

And Bordeaux’s most enticing gastronomic attraction is also one of its oldest: Marché des Capucins is the city’s largest farmer’s market that dates back to the mid-1700s. You can eat your way through Marché des Capucins and feel like a true Bordelaise. It’s a wonderful spot where you can blend in with the locals, buy fresh food from regional producers, lunch with friends on oysters and sauvignon blanc, and inspect crates of heirloom tomatoes, white asparagus and Cèpe de Bordeaux (Bordeaux mushrooms).

Simple and Traditional French Cuisine

Our recipe for a delightful summer soup takes advantage of the ripest, reddest, freshest tomatoes found at any local farmer’s market this time of year.

The riper the tomatoes, the more intense the flavor of this delicate consommé. It can be made 3 days ahead and cooled, uncovered, then chilled, covered. It is both light and comforting, and the salty olive tapenade on toast balances out the sweetness of the tomatoes, turning this into a complete meal.

Ingredients

  • 1 kg (2.2 lbs.) tomatoes, peeled
  • 2 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 2 tsp. tapenade
  • 6 slices of toast
  • 1 slice of stale bread
  • 3 tbsp. vinegar
  • 10 cl. (⅓ cup) chicken broth
  • 10 cl (⅓ cup) olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

Preparation Method

Puree the tomatoes, crushed garlic, stale bread, olive oil, vinegar, broth, salt and pepper until smooth. Add 2 cups water. Pass mixture through a colander to achieve a velvety texture. Chill for at least 3 hours. Serve alongside tapenade on toasted bread.

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