Monday, August 23, 2010

Tomato Gazpacho

 This recipe is adapted from Patricia Wells, cookbook Vegetable HarvestI am a recipe meddler from way back and have a hard time following any recipe to the letter.  I think this recipe is perfect just the way it is. The only adjustment I would recommend is the amount of tomatoes you would use.  For example,  if you love raw tomatoes then use full amount but if you want a little less tomato flavor then cut back a bit and enjoy more of the cucumber, red pepper and other flavors.

For me, Gazpacho has always been a dish that I am on the fence about.  Never quite right.  It could be that raw green peppers are not my favorite which are in many versions and there are many versions of gazpacho.   One year after a trip to the farmers market and more garden tomatoes than I knew what to do with, I tried the Tomato Gazpacho recipe from Vegetable Harvest.  It was so delicate and fresh.  It tasted like summertime.  It was simply amazing.  It is easy and it's flavor relies on fresh ingredients.  This time of the year I can get almost every ingredient at the farmers market and what is not there, is already in my cupboard.  Nice.

I am always amazed at how fresh and pure this soup tastes. The flavoring are limited to salt, pepper, sherry vinegar and red pepper flakes or hot sauce.

 I have some of my own Brandywine tomatoes right off the vine.  They are huge.  Each one is a meal in itself!
Once the stems and core are cut away then these tomatoes are closer to 1 1/2 pounds.  Quarter the tomatoes.  These are sweet, tasty tomatoes so more is better!
Puree them in the food processor and place the tomatoes in a large bowl.  Peel and rough chop the cucumber and onion.  Devein  the red peppers and quarter them.  Peel and chop the garlic.
Place the cucs, red pepper, onion and garlic in the food processor and process pulsing until you have a slightly chunky puree.
Add this mixture to the pureed tomatoes and stir it together.
Mix in the salt and sherry vinegar.  I added several dashes of hot sauce at this point but you can instead serve the hot sauce or hot pepper flakes on the side so each person can spice it up to their own taste.
What a lovely, refreshing gazpacho that can be served in a flash.  Although, letting the flavors meld overnight only enhances the flavors in this soup.

Tomato Gazpacho adapted from Patricia Well's recipe in Vegetable Harvest

 1 1/2 pounds fresh tomatoes, quartered
1 cucumber, peeled (hothouse or regular local) and cut into chunks
1 red pepper, cored, seeded and cut into large pieces
1 onion, small, cut into pieces (summer sweet onions are perfect for this)
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
3 tablespoons of sherry wine vinegar, quality counts
1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt
Hot red pepper flakes or a hot sauce such as Tabasco

Toss the tomatoes into the food processor and pulse until it is a slightly chunky puree.  Then toss the cucumber, red pepper, onion and garlic into the food processor.  Puree all ingredients by pulsing until pureed but still slightly chunky.  Add the puree to the bowl with the tomato puree and stir together.  Stir in salt and sherry vinegar.  Hot sauce can be added at this time to you taste or allow guests to season themselves.  Allowing the gazpacho to meld overnight enhances the flavor of this soup.

Enjoy the bounty of summer!

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1 comment:

  1. Hi Laura,

    On behalf of Jordan, I wanted to thank you for the nice comment about our winery. We learned a great deal from working with such a talented photographer those few days. I even used advice from Matt to win a food photography contest last Sunday in Seattle. And I am a videographer.

    Here's a picture of the burger and a link to its recipe:

    Lisa Mattson
    The Journey of Jordan: a wine and food video blog


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