Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Foolproof Gazpacho

You shall have to make do with this picture of tomatoes, dear reader. The soup was devoured before pictures could be snapped.

On days when it's wicked hot, I often can't bring myself to turn on the oven. I turn to cereal or -- if I happen to have some good heirloom tomatoes from the market -- to delicious, cold gazpacho. The soup is best made with heirloom tomatoes, those ugly, weirdly colored tomatoes you used to be afraid of as a kid. I often like to use the yellow heirlooms for gazpacho -- they're a little sweeter than the red or purple kind. But really any of them will do.

This soup can be eaten right away, but it's best if you can make it about 2 hours ahead of time and let it chill in the refrigerator. Don't be afraid to make a big batch -- the soup is actually at its best on the second day.

Eat Rating: Awesome. I have a whole new appreciation for really good tomatoes.
Difficulty: Easy. Requires a blender or food processor.

CCO's recipe

2 lbs yellow heirloom tomatoes (or any kind of heirlooms)
1 large cucumber (You can peel and seed if you want. I like to use the whole thing)
1 purple onion
1-2 jalapenos
Handful of parsley or cilantro
3/4 cup water
3 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Using a knife, cut around the core on the top of the tomato and pull it out. Roughly chop about 2/3 of the tomato and put in a blender.

Cut 2/3 of the cucumber in large pieces and place in the blender.

Cut the onion in half. Roughly chop one half and throw in the blender.

Cut off the top of one jalapeno, slice down the side and remove the seeds. (You should probably wear gloves while doing this). Toss in the blender.

Blend the vegetables to make a rough puree. Pour into a bowl.

Dice the remaining tomato, cucumber, jalapeno and onion into small pieces. You want it large enough to give the soup a nice crunch, but not so large that you have to spend an inordinate amount of time chewing. Add the diced vegetables to the puree, then mix in the water and olive oil. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Chill at least two hours before serving with a dollop of sour cream or croutons.

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