Gorgeous Gazpacho

 

 

Nothing says summer more than an icy bowl of Gazpacho.

There seem to be two schools of preparation–pureed or not. I am declaring myself the third school–in between. I puree part and then leave some chunky.

If you want to try this recipe, then do read on.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2-3 lbs of good tomatoes (do try to get fresh ones from a farmer’s market or homegrown
  • Approx 2 c of tomato juice
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 2 six-inch long cucumbers, homegrown if possible (if regular store-bought, peel)
  • 2-3 jalapeños, or other hot chiles (revise number depending on heat you want)
  • Approx 1 c beef or chicken stock
  • 1/2 c fresh basil
  • 1/4 c good quality EVOO
  • 1/3 c roasted red pepper
  • 1/3 c chopped red onion
  • 3 slices of bread (good sourdough if possible)
  • 1 tsp cumin, salt, and pepperI
  • 1/3 c sour cream or heavy cream
  • 1/4 c red wine vinegar

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Scald the tomatoes and remove the skin, remove seeds and dice into small dice.
  2. Add the garlic, one cucumber, the chiles and red onion to a food processor or blender and puree.
  3. Add to the tomatoes.
  4. Dice the other cucumber, removing the seeds if you wish first.
  5. Chop the basil and add along with the roasted red pepper.
  6. Place the bread in the blender with the tomato juice and puree. Add to the tomato mixture
  7. Add the oil, vinegar and spices. Mix well.
  8. Add as much of the stock as desired to get the consistency you wish. Taste and adjust seasonings.
  9. Add the sour cream or cream and mix.
  10. Refrigerate for several hours to chill well.

Serves: 8 at least

NOTE: you can puree it all if you wish, or none of it.

 

 

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Hallelujah Tomato Soup

I always get the most creative when it comes to soup.

I guess it’s because soup is forgiving. It takes a lot to screw up soup.

Anyway, I’ve made a lot of tomato soups, and frankly, just kind of did it by what I had, and so forth.

But this one turned out so good, that I figured I better write it down so I would remember the ingredients for the next time.

This is just a perfect meal on a chilly late-fall to winter day. Make it with a toasted cheese sandwich to which you’ve given proper attention (not American cheese on Wonder bread), and you have  a fine satisfying and comforting meal.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 leeks, cleaned and chopped to a small dice
  • 2 carrots, shredded
  • 2 ribs celery
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 cloves garlic, micro-planed
  • 4 cups tomatoes (from cans or fresh)
  • 1 tsp salt, more or less depending on whether you are using salted canned tomatoes
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 2/3 c dry red wine
  • 2 Tbsp fresh flat-leafed parsley
  • 1 pt cream

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Saute in your soup pot the veggies, until softened and translucent. Add the garlic and continue until fragrant.
  2. Add the tomatoes, seasonings, and wine
  3. Cover and simmer on low for an hour.
  4. Cool, and then ladle the solids to the blender or food processor and puree.
  5. Return to pot and stir in the parsley.
  6. Reheat, and take off the heat and add the cream. Warm if necessary.

Serves: 6

NOTE: you can substitute onions for the leeks. I just had them and needed to use them up. I would say a small one. Also, nix the wine if you wish. Or add some chicken stock, if you need more juice. And you may wish to eat it chunky and not puree it at all. As I said, soup is pretty forgiving.