Chilled (or Not) Fresh Tomato Soup
Photo: Ronnie Fein
Chilled Tomato Soup

By Ronnie Fein

(JTA) — You hear it every year: The High Holidays are either early or late, never on time.

This year is an early one — real early. Rosh Hashanah starts at sundown Sept. 6, the night of Labor Day for Americans. Fortunately it’s also the peak of tomato season, so why not include some in your holiday meal?

This soup, made from fresh tomatoes, has lots going for it: You can make it ahead by four or five days; you can enrich it with dairy or nondairy milk or cream if you wish; and it’s delicious either hot or cold.

While it is lovely as a first course for dinner on the first or second night of Rosh Hashanah, I’ll be serving this at room temperature in juice glasses to my break-the-fast guests as we gather after services and need a little nosh before our post-fast dairy meal.

You can warm it up, too, for Sukkot for those chillier nights in the sukkah.


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 thick scallions, chopped
  • 2 large cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 pounds ripe tomatoes, chopped
  • 4 cups vegetable stock
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 6 tablespoons uncooked white rice
  • 1 cup dairy or nondairy milk or cream, optional
  • Garnish (fresh herbs or croutons)


  1. Heat the olive oil in a soup pot over medium heat. Add the scallions and cook, stirring occasionally, for 2 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for about another minute. Add the tomatoes, stock, basil and salt and pepper.
  2. Bring the soup to a simmer, cover the pan and cook for 10 minutes. Add the rice, cover the pan and cook for another 20 minutes.
  3. Blend the soup in a blender or with an immersion blender. Serve hot or let cool. Stir in the milk, if desired. Chill completely.
  4. Serve garnished with fresh basil, parsley or Italian bread croutons. Makes 8 servings.

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