The idea for a deconstructed version came from a restaurant on Amelia Island called PLaE. They have a deconstructed appetizer version that is really tasty. I immediately thought it would be just perfect for a dinner party. The presentation can be really dramatic and stunning, and the small dishes are decorative and fun. This style also gives picky dinner guests (or children) the opportunity to build their own dishes. I sure do love a "build your own" dinner.
- 1 2-inch piece of french bread
- 2 garlic cloves
- 2 tsp salt
- 2 tbsp rice vinegar
- 1 tsp sugar
- 2 1/2 lbs ripe, juicy tomatoes, cored and quartered
- 1/3 c extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium red pepper, finely chopped
- 1 medium green pepper, finely chopped
- 1 scallion, finely chopped
- 1 jalapeno, finely chopped
- 3 small cucumbers, finely chopped
- 1 avocado
- 1/2 lime
- 1 can lump crab meat, drained (optional)
Soak bread in water quickly (less than 1 minute). Squeeze dry, discarding soaking water. Add bread, garlic cloves, salt, vinegar and sugar to blender. Blend until mixture is smooth. Add half of tomatoes to blender and puree. Add remaining tomatoes and puree until smooth. Gradually add oil in a slow stream with blender still running on low. Blend until incorporated. Transfer soup to a glass container and refrigerate for at least 3 hours.
To serve, chop avocado, squeeze lime over avocado and place in small bowl. Place remaining ingredients in separate small bowls arranged on around the larger soup bowl.