Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Summer Soup

Up front honesty...I've never had gazpacho, never made it, never had any desire one way or the other. When I came across a recipe recently, my aging wisdom suggested that I give it a whilrl...

Some "vine ripened" tomatoes, seeds removed, and whizzed in the processor. "Vine ripened" in some factory somewhere I'm sure...still have some time before really good local tomatoes are ready!

Add in some bell pepper, cucumber and a little Hungarian hot pepper. Whiz in some garlic as well.

Chill and serve. Garnish with some diced cucumber, freshly cracked black pepper and a drizzle of olive oil.

Our dinner...some grilled/toasted bread, proscuitto, Parano cheese and a bottle of Black Ankle Chardonnay. Well done.

Gazpacho for One
by Everyday Food

Makes 1 serving.

1 large tomato, cut into chunks
2-inch piece cucumber, peeled, seeded, and chopped
2-inch-wide strip bell pepper, chopped
1 small garlic clove, finely grated
1/4 tsp sherry vinegar
1/4 tsp red-wine vinegar
1 TB extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for serving
Coarse salt and ground pepper
Toasted country bread, for serving
Shaved Manchego cheese, for serving

1. In a food processor, puree tomato until almost smooth. Add cucumber, bell pepper, garlic, vinegars, and oil and season with salt and pepper. Pulse until mostly smooth.

2. Chill soup in the refrigerator 30 minutes (or up to 8 hours). Adjust seasoning; thin with water if necessary. Brush bread with oil. Serve soup drizzled with oil and topped with cheese, with bread alongside.

I mentioned in my photo comments that I used a Hungarian hot pepper. I only used about half of the pepper, next time I would use the whole and/or add some hot sauce or cayenne pepper to spice this up a bit. It was tasty, very cool and refreshing, but I needed a a bit of a kick in the pants.

Regarding the garlic. I know how my gastro system handles raw garlic...it rudely revisits me for hours after consumed. So, I grated the garlic into some olive oil and put it over the lowest heat setting on my stove until it was fragrant and translucent, then stirred that into the gazpacho before chilling. The brief bit of cooking mellows the garlic flavor and it doesn't haunt me later! Totally unnecessary, but helpful.

I really look forward to making this again later this summer when I have farm fresh tomatoes! Do make sure to add some bread and cheese for a wonderful meal. The proscuitto was nice, but next time I'll skip it, unless I can get some high quality goods from somewhere other than Giant...blah!


Cathy said...

That looks so summery and incredible--perfect accompaniments to beef up a gazpacho meal!

DancerInDC said...

I have grown to love a good gazpacho, and try to get it wherever I find it (especially when tomatoes are in season).

For a first attempt, I thought ScottE handled this really well - it was very tasty, the garlic wasn't an assault on the senses, and you could really taste the cucumber. But I agree an extra kick of heat/spice would be great.

Love it with bread, cheese and wine! Only thing more perfect might have been a vinho verde. :)

joyous said...

I like my gazpacho anti-gazpacho - chunky instead of all whizzed together. Page made one for a girl's lunch and it was really great. It wasn't completely liquified but there was still liquid for the bread.