June 9, 2005
Not Gazpacho

Cold soup. Doesn't sound very appetizing does it? If you're talking about chicken noodle or cream of broccoli, I'd agree. But when it's 90 degrees outside and 95 in the kitchen, certain cold soups that require no fire to make sound very good to me indeed.

The classic tomato based cold soup is gazpacho. Tomatoes, cucumber, garlic, spices, who wouldn't love it? Well, my wife for one. That's right, the Redhead has a distaste for a few foods and one of these is cucumbers. Of course the first thing I ever made for her was a fried fish on a bed of thinly sliced cucumbers. That was the last time she ever ate cucumbers as far as I know.

I don't understand her aversion, but I do cater to it. This soup, therefore is NOT gazpacho, but a gazpacho-like soup that takes no time at all to make and that you'll enjoy when the weather makes you feel like you're walking through the inside of a double-boiler and the thought of turning on the oven makes you melt.

Not Gazpacho
10-12 plum tomatoes, topped, washed, and cut into four wedges or so
1 big white onion, cut into wedges
3-6 cloves garlic, peeled
1 1/2 red bell peppers, seeded, diced roughly
6-10 leaves of fresh basil
1/2 cup parsley, flat or curly leaves, destemmed as much as practical
1/4 cup olive oil or to taste
1/2 tablespoon kosher salt or to taste
big grind of pepper to taste

Here's the recipe - put it all in a blender and blend until uniform. Chill. Serve.

A standard blender won't hold all this stuff. I start with the onion and tomatoes, blend them up, then pour out about half the liquid into a big mixing bowl and add the pepper and parsley and basil and garlic and blend again.

Once that lot's blended up, I pour everything into the same bowl, add the salt and pepper and oil, stir well, and taste. Adjust the seasonings to your liking. If you want more garlic or basil or parsley, pour a little of the soup from the bowl into the mixer and blend the extras in then return the blended mix to the bigger bowl, stir well and taste again.

Careful with the garlic here. With the white onion and the raw garlic, this soup can taste quite spicy. Start small and work your way up.

Put soup in the refrigerator for at least an hour before serving.

We enjoyed this soup with some wheat rusks and taramosalata, but that's just a suggestion.

If you'd like to make this more gazpacho-like, cut the amount of onion in half and add two or three or more peeled cucumbers. You also may need to increase the salt.

Posted by Barrett in Maryland at June 9, 2005 7:36 AM | TrackBack Print-friendly version

Barrett, I'm surprised your redhead can taste cucumber in the mix if you include it. To me it seems such a subtle flavour that it gets overpowered by the tomatoes and peppers. I mainly continue to include it in my gaspacho for the 99% water!

Posted by Meg in Paris on June 10, 2005 at 1:55 AM
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