GAZPACHO: THAT COOL, REFRESHING, SOUP
(gazpacho rests on a darling napkin, made for us by Clara, with fresh bread and a great big wooden spoon -- my favorite soup-eating device)
When the temperature sky rockets from 59 to 94 within a 24 hour period, I have to ask myself, HUH?! and with said heat wave, comes a headache, lethargy and 0 desire to cook anything, let alone be in the kitchen. So after a few dinners of random snacks -- cereal, fruits, crackers, handfuls of snap peas, etc. I decided to get real. A chilled soup is perfect in times such as this -- a hearty gazpacho sounded just about right and it was delicious. My brother and sister-in-law had a nice olive oil and a drizzle of that over the concoction really maked it sing. Nice job, Drew and Steph! Gazpacho pairs well with a great baguette and is often served with chopped green olives, green bell peppers and chopped hard boiled egg in Spain, but plain is just fine with me. It fills you up and refreshes the tummy simultaneously. The recipe is very forgiving and easily adjustable, according to your preferences and quantities of veggies on hand.
(serves 4 as a main course, 6-8 as appetizer)
6 medium sized tomatoes (I used to yellowish orange ones in my mixture)
1 bell pepper
1 medium sized white onion
1 slice of sandwich or french bread (traditionally white is called for, but I used whole wheat because it's what I had on hand -- it was absolutely fine, would use it again!)
2 tbsp vinegar (I used apple cider, but sherry or balsamic would be great as well)
1/2 c olive oil
2 tsp salt
dash of chili powder
2 tbsp fresh minced fresh herb, such as flat-leaf parsley or basil (I used basil)
2 cloves garlic, minced fresh
ground pepper to taste
Roughly chop all veggies and place in bowl with salt, chili powder and vinegar. Set aside a small cup full of veggies for garnish. Cut up bread in 1-inch pieces and stir into vegetables. Finally add fresh herbs and garlic, stir so everything is evenly coated with tomato/cucumber juices. Take half of the mixture, place in food processor, slowly drizzle in 1/4 c of olive oil. Let it blitz for about 1-2 minutes, until completely smooth and oil is emulsified. Pour contents into large serving bowl and repeat with remaining veggies/bread and another 1/4 c olive oil. Pour the rest of the soup into the serving bowl, cover and let stand in fridge for about 4 hours before serving -- the flavors meld and gel together nicely with a little time. Serve with reserved garnish on top, bread and any other goodies (olives, egg, peppers) you like.