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Another recipe from Michael Natkin's "Herbivoracious". Nice switch from gazpacho, makes a light, easy summer dinner with a salad and some bread, although it will only give you 2 to 3 servings if you're making it a meal. The time-consuming part of this recipe is making the Tomato Confit, it needs to be made in advance. I found I needed to add more milk to get it to the consistency I wanted, but it's very flexible. The addition of some milk does cut the tartness of the buttermilk, though. Make it vegan by using a combination of part vegan sour cream and part alternative milk (rice, hemp, soy, etc.). Natkin suggests adding a little lemon zest to it; I think a small piece of chipotle in adobo would be wonderful, or maybe a garnish of cooked shellfish or diced avocado or roasted sweet corn.
- Chill four small bowls.
- Puree the buttermilk, 32 of the tomato halves, and the salt in a blender. Run the blender for at least 1 minute to make the puree as smooth as possible. If not using a high-speed blender such as a Vitamix, you may want to strain the puree through a fine-meshed sieve to make it as silky as possible.
- Add more buttermilk (or milk) to adjust the texture, taste, and adjust seasoning. Refrigerate the soup, covered, until serving time.
- To serve, divide the soup among the chilled bowls, then top with the remaining (finely chopped) tomato confit halves, the chives, a drizzle of oil, and a sprinkle of salt.