Source: Chez Panisse by Alice Waters

4 pounds ripe tomatoes
2 T salt
1 small cucumber
2 stalks celery
3 shallots
white wine vinegar

Cut the tomatoes in quarters and put them in a bowl. Add all the salt and mix well. Peel and seed the cucumber, clean the celery and peel the shallots. Cut them all into a fine dice. Put the shallots into a small bowl, add just enough of the vinegar to cover and set aside. After about half an hour the salt will have softened the tomatoes. Mash them with a wooden spatula and work them through a food mill to obtain a thick tomato juice. Add the shallots, celery and cucumber. Season to taste with salt and vinegar. Use balsamic vinegar if the tomatoes need a little sweetness. Refrigerate over ice and serve well chilled. You can also add olive oil and mashed garlic to the tomato base and garnish the soup with diced hot or sweet peppers.