This week's Patchwork column discusses the summery gazpacho, a vegetable soup served cold. Head over here to read Kate Gridley's thoughts on using the late summer bounty, then try some of the recipes below!
Reserve small pieces of the bell peppers and chop, putting aside for garnish.
Process all remaining ingredients in a food processor — possibly in batches.
Press soup through a strainer, pressing it to extract maximum amount of liquid.
Adjust seasoning and chill for at least six hours. When ready to serve, ladle into bowls and garnish with bell peppers, and alittle ice, if you wish.
From Malaga, Spain — serves 4
Toast the almonds lightly in a 350 degree oven for 15 minutes.
Process almonds and garlic in a food processor.
Soak bread in 1/4 cup cold water and then squeeze dry. Add bread to processor and process till smooth. Add chicken stock, olive oil, vinegar, and salt and process till smooth. Strain soup through a medium sieve. Cover and refrigerate till well chilled. Stir in grapes just before serving and garnish with croutons.
From Cordoba, Spain. This soup involves baking the vegetables first, which gives it a slightly smoky flavor, one that is richer than gazpacho made with raw ingredients.
Place tomatoes and pepper in a single layer in a shallow roasting pan. Roast for 30 minutes. Remove tomatoes, transferring them to a glass bowl, and continue to roast peppers till they are lightly charred, which will take roughly 15 minutes more. Transfer peppers, and any juices to another glass bowl, and let stand, covered, for about 30 minutes.
Holding over bowl, peel tomatoes and tear flesh into pieces. Discarding stems and seeds, tear peppers to pieces, adding to tomatoes. Pour any pepper juices through a sieve into the tomato mixture. Stir in cucumbers, garlic, vinegar and oil. Cut bread into one-inch cubes, and soak in water for 10 minutes. Drain the bread — don’t squeeze — and add to tomato/pepper mixture. Add tarragon, salt and pepper. Toss thoroughly. Refrigerate at least six hours, preferably over night. Then puree mixture. Chill. Season, if desired, with more vinegar, salt and pepper.
Another red gazpacho
(Note the differences with the preceding recipes — luckily, they are ALL good, and that is because of the time of year and the sun-ripened fresh ingredients. It’s hard to go wrong.)
Set aside some of the chopped cucumber, tomato and pepper for garnish.
Soak bread in 1 cup of water for 5 minutes, then squeeze out excess water.
Place bread in container of food processor, and process with tomato, pepper, cucumber and water, as well as garlic and vinegar ’til smooth — THEN add olive oil slowly, with machine running. Season with salt and pepper and refrigerate.
Check seasoning just before serving. Garnish with reserved tomato, cucumber and pepper and optional croutons
More baked gazpacho
Another gazpacho with many MORE varieties of baked fresh vegetables!
Preheat oven to 400. Combine tomatoes, eggs, zucchini, onions, garlic, and olive oil in shallow roasting pan, and roast until eggplant is tender, about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking. Turn mixture into a bowl, and add vinegar, salt and pepper, water and bread. Refrigerate overnight.
In food processor, blend till smooth. Put through mill or sieve and strain.
Check seasoning for the right tanginess with the vinegar, and the nutty flavor of the olive oil, garnish, and serve.
This is a coarser gazpacho and is pictured on the page in the little cordial glass.
Combine juice, oil, vinegar, onion and garlic
Stir in tomatoes, cukes, peppers, and cilantro. Season with salt and pepper. Refrigerate.