This soup is not only absolutely delicious, but it is also very different. It is a marvelous flavor to accompany grilled fish, poultry or meat, making it perfect for summer and early fall grilling menus. Even though I prefer the flavor of nicoise olives in this recipe, pitting them is a tedious task. For this reason, I have used pitted kalamata olives in this recipe. They also make a very tasty soup in addition to dramatically shortening the preparation time. This recipe is for a hot soup, but it is also delightful served cold.
BLACK OLIVE SOUP
1 jar (4 1/2 ounces) pitted kalamata olives, drained
2 bottles (8 ounces each) clam juice
1/2 cup water
2 medium-size baking potatoes, peeled and cooked (1 1/2 cups)
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
3 plum tomatoes, peeled and finely diced
Lemon zest for garnish, optional
1. Combine the olives, clam juice and water in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes. Allow to cool slightly, then pour the mixture into a blender and puree. Add the potato pulp and the pepper, and blend until completely smooth. Pour the mixture through a strainer back into the pan. Stir in the lemon zest and heat to the desired temperature.
2. To serve, place half of a diced tomato in the bottom of each of 6 bowls. Pour 2/3 cup of the soup over the tomato in each bowl. Garnish with lemon zest if desired.
Makes 6 servings.
Each serving contains approximately: 139 calories; 11 gm fat; 0 mg cholesterol; 875 mg sodium; 13 gm carbohydrates; 2 gm protein; 1 gm fiber.
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