Roasted Plum Tomato Gazpacho With Lump King Crab
- Spray the bottom of a heatproof pan with olive oil. Cut plum tomatoes in half lengthwise and lay them in the pan. Sixteen halves fit nicely in a 9- by 13-inch pan. Drizzle the whole lot with olive oil. A teaspoon or less per tomato will do it.
- Roast the tomatoes one hour at 500°F At 45 minutes you can check them, but unless they are really small tomatoes, they will not burn. You want to take them out just when a few of them are starting to get a char on the edges. The longer they are in there, the more intense the flavor will be.
- Puree in a blender. You can leave a few chunks if you want, but this won't take long to get a nice puree. Set aside to cool.
- In a large mixing bowl, put the V8, the red and green peppers, the scallions, honey, garlic, vinegar, cumin, parsley and salt. Add the pureed tomatoes and stir. Taste. Add Tabasco or hot sauce to taste. (A teaspoon or two should do it. If your guests like it hotter, place the Tabasco on the table so they can add more.)
- You can put the soup in your refrigerator to chill and serve later, or you can serve it room temperature now.
- For the Open-Face Crab Sandwich: When you are just about ready to serve, you are going to prepare your floating, open-face crab sandwich.
- Butter your bread slices on one side. Place them on a cookie sheet and bake in a 350°F oven for 7 minutes or until very lightly golden on the buttered side. Flip them over and toast for 3 minutes more.
- Spoon the soup into shallow bowls. Place the toasted bread on top in the middle of the soup and then pile one quarter of the crab on top of each person's bread slice. It's a sizeable handful. A few pieces will fall off into the soup. That's fine. The soup will be room temperature or cold, the bread will be warm and the crab will be ice cold from the refrigerator. The juxtaposition of the temperatures makes this a very interesting dish.