Friday, July 29, 2011

Gazpacho

After years of making this classic summer soup I feel like I have finally found the perfect recipe for it thanks in part to Alice Waters, whose recipe this is inspired by.  In making this the first time I used 2 large fresh garlic cloves from a head of  garlic I had just gotten from the market.  I love garlic, but in this instance I felt it was too much, so much so after eating a bowl of it for lunch a few days after I had made this batch a women in the elevator said:

I smell..what is it Onions?  

No


I said


It's garlic - I just ate gazpacho for lunch.


In part because this is such a seasonal dish I feel like you want to emphasize the freshness and flavor of the tomatoes so I'd start out with just one clove of garlic and if you feel the need to add more by all means puree up some with a little olive oil and mix it in at the end.

Gazpacho

Stem and de-seed a dried Ancho pepper and let it reconstituted for about 15 minutes in a small bowl of very hot water.

Traditionally Gazpacho is made from stale old white bread, I made mine from stale Foccacia I had laying about, I dusted off the salt and Rosemary that I had garnished with it and it worked perfectly.  Most recipes want you to use some perfect white country bread, which is fine if you happen to have some laying about that is stale, but I think almost any white bread will do... I'd even say some wheat breads might work fine as well.  In the end the bread is pureed and just acts as a thickener so don't get to hung up on the kind of bread you use.

Take 2 cups of Stale Bread and soak in water for a few minutes, then ring out the water and reserve the reconstituted bread.

In a blender or food processor (works best in a blender) add 1 clove of garlic, 1/4 teaspoon of salt, the soaked Ancho Pepper and 2 Tablespoons of Olive Oil and puree.  Then add the reconstituted bread and mix until well incorporated.  Remove this mixture from the blender/food processor and set aside.


Core and quarter 5 pounds of Very Ripe Tomatoes, then in batches puree them in the blender/food processor.  When all of the tomatoes have been processed add back into the processor along with the bread mixture and process until just blened.  Season with more salt, olive oil and freshly grated black pepper and maybe even a pinch of cayenne.  Pour into a container and refrigerate.  Best to make this at least 4 hours prior to serving.  As an option if you want to be daring a teaspoon of ground cumin can be a nice touch.

Clean and roughly chop 1/2 pound of Heirloom Cherry Tomatoes ( a selection of kinds and colors is best) place in a bowl along with: 2 Tablespoons of Red Wine Vinegar, 1 cup of chopped Fresh Basil1 seeded, stemmed and roughly chopped Sweet Pepper (any color but green will do) 1 seeded, peeled and chopped Cucumber, 1/2 of a Red Onion finely chopped and stir in 1/3 cup Olive Oil, season with Salt and freshly grated Black Pepper to taste. 

Pour the chilled Tomato soup into bowls and ladle in a generous spoonful of the cherry tomato mixture.  Serve with freshly fried and salted Corn Tacos (or tortilla chips in a bowl to be used as a kind of cracker).

A lovely light meal and you never have to turn the over or stove on!

1 comment:

Tanya said...

That looks gorgeous!

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