Sunday, May 16, 2010

A Great Gazpacho

Well, I'm back! The dark cloud of depression actually lifted months ago, it's just taken me some time to really get back. I've had intentions of blogging for a few months, I suppose I just wasn't quite ready or inspired enough! My dearest girlfriend, Mallory, from A Sofa in the Kitchen, is so talented and with her post of pictures from our cooking groups dinner last night I just couldn't resist any longer! I have missed taking pictures of food, having a great reason to try new recipes, writing about this subject I adore, and basically just sharing myself with you! It's been awhile, so bear with me as we get back into the swing of things around Use the Good China...


I find it a bit surprising that the first food I should blog on after this long, long hiatus is gazpacho. To tell you the truth, I've had it several times and really didn't love it enough to ever crave or desire it, let alone make it for any purpose! However, I recently had a delightful friend over for dinner and decided to grill up some vegetable and cheese paninis. I really wanted to serve them with a nice cup of soup but decided that it just wouldn't be right, it's time to pay some respect to spring and the gorgeous weather and warmth we've been experiencing here in the Northwest. So then, I thought, well, vegetable salad? No, too boring. And with all of the veggies going into the sandwiches? GAZPACHO? Really? It's practically a salad, super fresh, light. So, I went to my favorite food resource of all time: Epicurious. I found a recipe that looked easy and flavorful and got down with my bad self and my Cuisinart. I have to say, I just Love this stuff. If too many hours pass, I start craving it. It's salty, savory, spicy punch. I also like the little bits of vegetables that don't get completely pureed. And, as you can see in the photo above, there are little oil bubbles hovering over the soup. To me, a good soup always has that layer. Fat makes for a silky mouth feel, and in my opinion, even light soups need it! I've always liked V8 and this isn't a far stretch, the thing is, I don't like it cold. I've never been one for cold soups. It just doesn't seem right. No matter how open I try to be, I just can't do it. Don't get me wrong, I like cold things. Water... I prefer it ice arctic cold. Fruit... colder the better. It's just that I've got it in my head that soups should be piping hot. So, I really prefer this gazpacho at a slightly cool room temperature. When its icy cold you can't really taste the depth of flavors that lie within anyway. I also highly recommend giving this soup several additional hefty lashings of tabasco when you serve it individually!


I love that this recipe is so easy to prepare. No cooking. All you have to do is roughly dice up some herbs and veggies, measure a few flavorings, and blend. It gets better with time and will last up to a week chilled in the refrigerator. I think it will become a summer staple, if you know what I mean. Thanks for having me back, I won't leave again for a long, long time! Stop in often, I'd love to have you!!!


Really, really Good Gazpacho
adapted from Epicurious.com

Ingredients:

6 c tomato juice

2 large tomatoes

1/3 Lg English Cucumber

2 lg bell peppers, I used Red and Green

1 T honey

2 clove crushed garlic

4 scallions (chop to light green part)

juice from 1/2 lemon & 1/2 lime

1.5 Tbs red wine vinegar

3 T fresh chopped basil

1/2 tsp ground cumin

1/3 cup chopped parsley

dash tobasco

4 T. olive oil

salt & pepper to taste

1/8 tsp red pepper flakes (up to 1/4 tsp if you like the extra bite)



Directions:

1. Chop veggies and fresh herbs into chunks.

2. Put in Cuisinart and Chop until chunky (about 10 - 15 seconds)

3. Add 3 c. of the tomato juice and chop some more until thick but still have small pieces of veggies. Don't puree completely.

4. Pour into Container, taste and season as necessary.

Add more tomato juice and stir well, continuing to add until desired consistency. I used all 6 cups.

5. Regrigerate at least 2 hours before serving.

Serve topped with creme fresh or Sour Cream, and chopped scallion.



5 comments:

Mardi said...

I'm so glad your back. I'm thinking I may have to try this recipe. I know cold soup is not the norm for us, but it sounds delicious, it's low cal, and pretty to boot! Thanks for sharing. Hugs, Mom!

missmallory said...

I die! Bananas! You're back, and I'm loving it (can you tell?!) I'll remember to have Thomas thank you after I whip this up for him. How he loves it so, but I'm on your side, never loved it. . .until last night!

xx

RachelleLouise said...

Thank you, ladies! I sure appreciate your warm welcoming arms back! I feel like a ninny for being gone so long! This stuff is good! I would just make sure to chill it when you're not eating it. We left it out all day and the veggies got a little soft. I would get your serving out, put the rest away, and then let the portion sit out a bit. This soup would be good alongside a grilled sandwich like we had, or maybe with a baked potato or grilled meat? It's just a nice light addition to a meal. The best part? NO cilantro! xx

Pink Rose Cottage said...

This looks fantastic - I'll be giving it a go this summer for sure.

RachelleLouise said...

Thank you, Pink Rose Cottage! I hope you do! I've been craving it again recently. I saw a gazpacho being made on the Food Network and the chef put it a whole lot of bread chunks. When she pureed it was very milky looking! Not sure what I think of a version like that. I may try it one day, it would have more substance. There is something about the lightness of this version that I adore. Let me know how it turns out for you!