Gazpacho with Pecorino

6 tablespoons grated pecorino Romano
2 large tomatoes (about 1 pound), cored and roughly chopped
1 1/2 cups (12 ounces) plain sheep?s-milk or regular yogurt
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, more for serving
12 basil leaves, roughly chopped, more for serving
2 large garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped
2 scallions (white and light green parts), roughly chopped
2 ice cubes
1 3/4 teaspoons kosher salt, more to taste
1 1/2 teaspoons red wine vinegar, more to taste
Pinch cayenne pepper
Ground black pepper to taste


Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Spread 2 tablespoons cheese into a thin layer in skillet; let melt and brown on bottom, about 30 seconds to one minute. Use a spatula to flip cheese; let cook until evenly browned on both sides, about a minute more. Transfer fried cheese to a paper-towel-lined plate. Repeat with remaining cheese, working 2 tablespoons at a time. Break fried cheese into large pieces.

To make soup, place tomatoes, yogurt, olive oil, basil, garlic, scallions, ice cubes, salt, vinegar, cayenne and black pepper in a blender. Pur?e until smooth. Taste and add more salt and vinegar, if necessary. Pour into small bowls and garnish with pieces of fried cheese and chopped basil. Drizzle soup liberally with olive oil.

Yield: 4 servings.