Thursday, June 25, 2009

Barefoot Bloggers: Gazpacho!

The second half of this month's Barefoot Bloggers brings us GAZPACHO as selected by Meryl from My Bit of Earth. That "perfect" summer soup -- chilled fresh veggies all mixed together to bring joy to your tastebuds. Well, that is, if you like cold soup? I never really was a fan of cold soup. To me, I thought that soup should be hot and if not hot, well, at least warm.

In any case though, as the days are getting hotter here, I welcomed the chance to try gazpacho again. And I wasn't disappointed! I actually quite liked this soup. My husband raved about it and took some with him when he went to go visit his mom -- and she loved it too. I liked how Ina left the soup chunky so you could actually taste each of the different vegetables.

I also definitely agree with Ina's recommendation -- the longer you let the soup sit and blend all together, the richer the flavors. The colors were bright and cheery and so was the flavor.

Would I make it again? Sure! It was rather easy to throw together and I think it would be fantastic at a summer barbecue party. Do I find myself personally craving it? Well, probably not. But I wouldn't be opposed to having it again.

As for variations, I read the other day about a more "southwestern" spin on gazpacho that I think would be dee-li-cious. Next time, I think I'll doctor up the gazpacho with some avocados (some pureed, some chunky) and fresh corn. And maybe, a bit of Tabasco or hot sauce for that extra kick. Yum.

The Recipe: Barefoot Contessa's Gazpacho

  • 1 hothouse cucumber, halved and seeded, but not peeled
  • 2 red bell peppers, cored and seeded
  • 4 plum tomatoes
  • 1 red onion
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 23 ounces tomato juice (3 cups)
  • 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup good olive oil
  • 1/2 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper

Roughly chop the cucumbers, bell peppers, tomatoes, and red onions into 1-inch cubes. Put each vegetable separately into a food processor fitted with a steel blade and pulse until it is coarsely chopped. Do not overprocess!

After each vegetable is processed, combine them in a large bowl and add the garlic, tomato juice, vinegar, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Mix well and chill before serving. The longer gazpacho sits, the more the flavors develop.

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