Thursday, April 5, 2012

40 Meatless Meals: Creamy Gazpacho Andaluz

In a surprising reversal from our usual pickiness levels, my husband is the gazpacho eater of the family, whereas I usually find myself wishing for some chips to go with what is clearly a bowl of salsa in front of me. This regional version is emulsified with olive oil and a slice of bread to create a creamy base that really says "soup," while retaining all the bright fresh vegetable flavors.
The mise en place (though I'm sure your onion won't have sprouted).

Serves four to six.
  • 3 lbs ripe tomatoes, cored
  • 1 small cucumber, peeled and seeded
  • 1 medium green bell pepper, cored and seeded
  • 1 small red onion
  • 2 medium garlic cloves, peeled and quartered
  • 1 small serrano chile, stemmed and halved
  • kosher salt
  • 1 slice white sandwich bread, torn in one-inch pieces
  • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 T sherry vinegar
  • 2 T finely minced parsley, chives or basil leaves
Roughly chop (no need for these to look pretty) 2 pounds of tomatoes, half of cucumber, half of bell pepper, and half of onion and place in bowl. Add garlic, chile and 1 1/2 tsp salt; toss until well combined; set aside.

Cut remaining tomatoes, cucmber, and pepper into (nicer-looking) ¼" dice. Mince remaining onion and add to diced vegetables. Toss with ½ tsp salt and transfer to fine mesh strainer set over medium bowl. set aside 1 hour.

Transfer drained diced vegetables to medium bowl and set aside. Add bread pieces to exuded liquid and soak 1 minute. Add soaked bread and any remaining liquid with roughly chopped vegetables and toss thoroughly to combine.

Transfer half of vegetable bread mixture to blender and process 30 seconds. With blender running, slowly drizzle in ¼ cup oil and continue to blend until completely smooth, about 2 minutes. Strain soup through fine mesh strainer into large bowl, repeat with remaining bread mixture and ¼ cup oil.

Stir in vinegar, minced herb, and half of diced vegetables into soup and season to taste. Cover and refrigerate one hour to overnight. Garnish with remaining vegetables and serve.

Recipe source: America's Test Kitchen TV.

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