Friday, June 26, 2009

Amo gaspacho!

First time I ever had gazpacho was at a party at my 10th-grade Spanish teacher's house. I think I was the only one amongst my classmates who expressed an affinity for Señora Lindsay's "cold tomato soup." Fast forward about nine years ...

I was dining in a French (!) restaurant on NYC's Restaurant Row when I put spoon to mouth from the best damned bowl of gazpacho I'd ever - I've ever - had. (I was in NYC last year, and the French restaurant in question ain't doin' business no more.)

I've tried my hand makin' gazpacho many times, but it never tastes as good as stuff I had once upon a time in NYC. Here's a new recipe I'm gonna make (I'll let you know how it turns out):

Smoky Gazpacho

By grilling the tomatoes and vegetables in this version of classic gazpacho, it becomes a delicious chilled summer soup. Top it with fresh mozzarella, Manchego cheese or even fresh crab and avocado. It is best when chilled overnight.


3 medium ripe tomatoes, cut in half
1 medium sweet onion such as a Vidalia, peeled and cut in half
1 red bell pepper, cut in half and seeded
1 small Serrano pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups chopped, peeled and seeded cucumber
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons Worcestershire Sauce
¼ cup loosely packed cilantro
2 ½ cups organic tomato juice
Hot sauce to taste
Olive oil for drizzling


Preheat grill to medium-high heat. Place tomatoes, onion and peppers on a baking sheet and brush with 2 tablespoons olive oil. Grill vegetables until lightly charred, about 10-15 minutes depending on the vegetable.

Remove charred skins from tomatoes, peppers, and onions. Discard skins and place vegetables in food processor with cucumbers. Pulse to combine, add vinegar, Worcestershire and cilantro, and process until almost smooth.

Pour vegetable mixture into a large bowl, add tomato juice and season with salt, pepper and hot sauce. Chill in refrigerator at least four hours or overnight. To serve, ladle soup into bowls and drizzle with olive oil.

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