Our Daily Dinner

Our Daily Dinner

August 16, 2010

A Cuban Supper: Ropa Vieja + Cold Tomato Soup

George grew up in Havana, a country he remembers fondly. Picadillo (Cuban Beef Stew) and Ropa Vieja (Old Clothes) are among his favorite dishes. I think to call Ropa Vieja “Old Clothes” is an insult. It is a highly flavorful dish that can be dressed up or down, depending on individual taste. George advised me on the spicing. There were no complains.

Now that I have taken my food processor down from the upper shelve, I enjoy making cold soups. With tomatoes in season, the chilled tomato soup is a natural. It is so simple to prepare that a child could whip it up.


Chilled Tomato Soup
Ropa Vieja
Black Beans
Wine: Marqués de Cácerres, 2006
Dessert: Fresh Berries

Chilled Tomato Soup

2 large ripe, New Jersey tomatoes, skin removed and cored
2 cups top quality tomato juice, more if needed
Salt and black pepper
Pinch of sugar
Snipped chives for garnish

Purée the tomatoes in a blender, adding tomato juice to thin to a medium thickness. Season the soup with salt, pepper, and sugar. Refrigerate. When ready to serve, spoon the soup into individual bowls. Garnish with chives.

Tip: I freeze some tomato juice in a small ice tray and float three or four frozen cubes on top of the soup.

Ropa Vieja

1 lb. beef flank steak
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 large onion, peeled and chopped
3 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
3 tablespoons canned tomato paste (more if needed)
½ package Sasón Goya (with Coriander & Annatto)
Generous pinch of smoked sweet paprika
Salt and pepper

Optional: 1 red pepper, skin and seeds removed, cut into strips


Put the meat in a small saucepan. Cover with water. Add several black peppercorns and coriander seeds, 2 bay leaves, 1 cube Knorr chicken bouillon cube. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 1 ½ hours or until very tender. When cold enough to handle, drain the meat and pull it apart into shreds. (The meat iself tasted so good, I kept on noshing.)


Heat the oil in a skillet and sauté the onions until translucent. Briefly sauté the garlic. Add all other ingredients, including the meat. Stir-fry until well mixed and heated through. Adjust seasoning.
Serve over a bowl of rice.
Arrange the optional pepper strips over the meat.


Lana said...

This cold tomato soup sounds really easy to make. Have to try it.
Thank you, Helen.

Our Daily Dinner said...


Do give it a try. As long as you have a blender, it will come out just fine. Refreshing and tasty to boot.