The tomato soup was particularly appealing because it could be prepared a day ahead. It is also quite simple to make. Chopped plum tomatoes are simmered in chicken stock along with onions, garlic and rosemary.
When the vegetables are tender, the mixture is pureed and can then be refrigerated. Just before the soup is served, marinated sea scallops are quickly grilled or broiled and added to the reheated broth.
TOMATO SOUP WITH GRILLED SCALLOPS
3/4 cup olive oil
4 1/2 cups chopped onions (about 3 large)
1 1/2 tablespoons finely chopped garlic
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh chopped thyme or 1 1/2 teaspoons dried
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh chopped rosemary or 1 1/2 teaspoons dried
4 1/2 pounds plum tomatoes, stem ends cut off and tomatoes coarsely chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons salt or to taste
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
6 cups chicken stock
Dash of sugar (optional)
1 1/2 to 1 3/4 pounds sea scallops
1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
Fresh rosemary sprigs for garnish (optional)
Heat 7 tablespoons olive oil in large, heavy, non-aluminum pan over medium- high heat. When oil is hot, add onions and saute, stirring constantly, until softened, 4 to 5 minutes. Add garlic, thyme and rosemary and cook and
stir 2 minutes more. Add tomatoes, salt, several grindings of pepper and stock and bring mixture to simmer. Lower heat and simmer until vegetables are quite tender, 25 to 30 minutes.
Remove soup from heat and puree using food processor, blender or food mill. Taste soup and add more salt and pepper if desired. If soup seems a little acidic, add dash of sugar. Soup can be prepared a day ahead, cooled, covered and refrigerated.
An hour before serving, prepare scallops. Remove and discard small piece of connective tissue on side of each scallop. Place scallops in glass or ceramic bowl. Whisk together lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper and remaining olive oil in small bowl. Pour marinade over scallops and toss well. Cover and refrigerate scallops 40 minutes, stirring several times.
Prepare grill or broiler and arrange rack 5 inches from heat. Thread scallops onto metal skewers and grill or broil until opaque and cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes or longer. Watch carefully so scallops do not overcook and become dry.
To serve, reheat soup, stirring often, and ladle into eight soup bowls. Divide scallops evenly and mound in center of each bowl. Garnish each serving with rosemary sprig. Makes eight servings.