by Heidi Krahling of Insalata’s of San Anselmo

The secret to the vibrant and beautiful red color of this chilled tomato soup is the addition of a bit of cooked fresh red beet. And the secret to its lusciousness is adding fruity extra virgin olive oil. Lots of it. This chilled soup is a pitch perfect balance of salt, acid and olive oil, resulting in optimal fullness of flavor. 10 (about 4 pounds) of vine-ripened tomatoes, cored, seeded and chopped; juices reserved

  • 1 cucumber, peeled, seeded and chopped
  • 1 (about 2 ounces) small red beet, cooked, peeled and diced
  • 1/2 red onion, chopped
  • 3 Tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 4 Tablespoons sherry vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups fruity extra virgin olive oil, for garnish
  • avocado chunks, for garnish

In a large glass or stainless steel bowl, combine the tomato, tomato juices, cucumber, garlic, bell pepper, beet, red onion, lemon juice, sherry vinegar, salt and pepper; using your hands, crush the ingredients a bit and allow to macerate for at least 4 hours and up to all night. In the bowl of a blender or food processor, working in batches if necessary, puree the tomato mixture until very smooth. Blend in the olive oil just until incorporated. Pass the tomato mixture through a large holed sieve. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt, pepper and sherry vinegar. Ladle into bowls. Garnish with a drizzle of olive oil and chunks of avocado; serve immediately.


bookHeidi Krahling has been passionate about Mediterranean food since growing up in Southern California in a large Italian family. Her new Insalata’s cookbook is filled with sumptuous recipes that Heidi has tantalized her customers with for 13 years (as chef and owner of Insalata’s in San Anselmo, CA). Along with the more than 120 recipes, Heidi explains how you, too, can learn the “principles of flavor” to create luscious dishes that are the perfect accompaniments for gatherings with family and friends. The recipes are paired with the vivid, sensuous artwork of Laura Parker, whose work also adorns the walls of Insalata’s.

Curious if we have your favorite plant or product in stock? Call one of our locations directly and we'll be happy to check.