This unbelievably seductive soup needs no cooking at all, just a glorious melding of flavors from fresh tomatoes, garlic, onion, and herbs. It’s named after Venus, the Roman goddess of love and kitchen gardens (who knew?), because tomatoes were once known as “love apples” and were sacred to her.
This is effortless to make but it has a luxurious taste that evokes warm days and sun-drenched earth. One bite and you’ll fall in love!
1 quart canned crushed tomatoes
3 or 4 large ripe tomatoes, chopped
1/4 cup oil-packed sundried tomatoes, drained and chopped
1/4 cup red onion, chopped fine
1 garlic clove, crushed
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil, or 1 tablespoon dried
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
salt or tamari, to taste
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
sour cream for topping (optional)
fresh basil leaves for garnish
1. Combine all ingredients in a large serving bowl or tureen.
2. Chill until ready to serve. Garnish each serving with a dollop of sour cream, if you like, and/or a pretty fresh basil leaf.
Serves 4 to 6.
Inspired by Witch in the Kitchen, by Cait Johnson (Inner Traditions, 2001).