Most people return from vacations with poignant souvenirs and well-earned tans, but I can safely say I came back from the beach in North Carolina with neither. What I did lug back in my car was about a half bushel of glorious tomatoes.
We in the Midwest are still weeks away from prime tomato season, but in the South they are plump, ripe, and ready to go. My only worry as I crossed half the country was that I needed to find some recipes fast before all those tomatoes started to decompose.
Luckily, I had saved Loudes Castro's fresh tomato soup from Cooking with Les Dames D'Escoffier for when the time was right. Don't let the influential French chef's name fool you; this is a Mexican-style soup, which proves that there are more cold tomato soup options than just gazpacho.
The tomatoes are pureed with olive oil and red wine vinegar until very smooth. It's an elegant base, but this soup really comes alive with the addition of a roasted corn guacamole. Spooned right into the center of the bowl, the warm corn mixes with the cool soup, making for a dynamic dish.