Wednesday, August 4, 2010

I Burned Myself on Gazpacho

I know what you’re thinking- Gazpacho is cold.  It is a cold soup made of raw vegetables.  It is in no way hot, at all.  How could you possibly burn yourself on Gazpacho?  Well, I will be happy to share with you.
I have had Gazpacho on my list of things to make since I tried it at Sensing last year.  I love how refreshing it is on a hot summer day, and I actually really adore how good it is for you.  Eliminating the “cooking” factor all together, Gazpacho contains no added fats or sugars, anything that is in it (at least the bread less version I was itching to make) was grown from the earth and contains natural nutrients.

As a bit of a history lesson, Gazpacho was once an Arab bread soup, containing just bread, olive oil, garlic and water, later vinegar was added.  Later, the Spanish brought it to their country and added the tomato element.  Today, the "traditional recipe" includes tomatoes, stale bread, garlic, cucumbers, bell peppers, wine vinegar, olive oil and salt.  However it has become widely accepted to call any chilled vegetable soup- Gazpacho.  

I realized that Gazpacho was in my future after a stop at the Stillman’s Farms stand at the Copley Square Farmers Market.  Their tomatoes were gorgeous, and with both red and yellow tomatoes, well, I knew they would be perfect for the soup.

Back at home I sliced the tomatoes-starting with just three of the red variety.  They were so beautiful!  Almost sad to chump them up in my food processor, I threw them in anyway, with a chopped small clove of garlic, and just a bit of salt and a little pepper and blended til pureed.  Then I added a handful of parsley, a few chives and a jalapeno.  Are you getting the heat yet?  Sadly I’ve been accustomed recently to jalapeno’s not bring enough spice to my dishes, so I thought nothing of slicing this one up and adding it to the mix, seeds and all.  Lesson learned:  ALWAYS taste your peppers….always.  The spice that was in this thing was incredible, and unfortunately blew out a lot of the other flavors.

I tried to reign in the spice level by adding another tomato…or two…or three.  Sadly in order to do that, I ended up adding in the yellow tomatoes that I had wanted to blend in chunkier so that the color shown through and made it pretty.  Oh well.  I also blended in half of a red bell pepper, and a small cucumber.  Finally, it got to a more acceptable level, and I pulsed in the remainder of the bell pepper, half of another small cucumber, and a bit more parsley.  The pulsing action simply chopped these final ingredients and gave great texture to the soup. 

I served the gazpacho with just a couple of slices of avocado on the side and found them to be perfect for cooling the taste buds down off of the still fiery, yet lovely and chilled, soup. 

Next time, and don’t you worry, next time will be soon, I will cut down on the jalapeno action and maybe just add half?  I’ll taste the pepper to decide.  Additionally, I’d love to try an avocado cream as an accent as well, a pretty spark in the midst of the summer produce.

Overall, I can’t count this as a failure as I continue to chow down on it- happily I might add.  However, I can’t count it as a homerun yet either.  Maybe it’s just a clear single down the line with no one else on plate.  Can you tell I have the Sox on the brain? 


MichellePC said...

The headline of this post is fantastic! And your Gazpacho looks incredible. My boyfriend's mother made some Gazpacho for us the other night from local ingredients, and I've been dreaming about it ever since. It's the perfect summer soup!

Boston Food Diary said...

Haha thank you!!!! I can't believe how ridiculously hot that Jalapeno was!
It really is a perfect summer soup-especially when made from local ingredients just bursting with flavor!

Anonymous said...

I'm surprised you just tried gazpacho recently. I have been eating it and loving it for many years! Yours looks delicious and different from the more traditional varieties I'm accustomed to (can we say "Whole Foods Prepared Soups?" haha). This reminds me that I should bring you vegetables from the Tieuli garden next time we hang out-I'd love to see what you "rustle up" with them!



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