Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Gazpacho! Gesundheit....

It has been hot all over.  Yeah, the rest of the country has been making headlines all summer and I know that corn has been withering all over the Midwest like nobody's business.  But when the temps go high in West Los Angeles, it is especially brutal as many of the older homes don't have any air conditioning.  So what is a girl to do? Make gazpacho, of course!

This recipe is adapted from Thomas Keller of French Laundry/Ad Hoc fame and the best part about it is that you rough chop all of the vegetables, put them in the blender with tomato juice, DON'T BLEND and stick it in the refrigerator all day or overnight.  When you get home, pull it out, blitz the daylights out of it, pour it in a mug/bowl/dainty tea cup with roses and dinner is ready. If you are feeling especially fancy, you can chop up avocado and add that on top.  You will have about 1 1/2 quarts of soup.


1 cup chopped red onions
1 cup chopped green bell pepper (I don't even LIKE green peppers, but still good in this soup.)
1 cup chopped English cucumber (I used Persian Cucumbers...I live in Westwood after all!)
1 cup peeled and chopped tomatoes (You could use canned, but it is summer and what is summer but tomato heaven?  Slice a shallow X into the bottoms of tomatoes, drop in boiling water, wait 30 seconds or so, pull them out, drop them in an ice bath and slip the skins off...this is the HARDEST part of the soup.)
1 1/2 teaspoons chopped garlic
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1/4 cup tomato paste
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
3 cups tomato juice
Sprig of thyme

In a large bowl, mix together the red onions, green bell pepper, English cucumber, tomatoes, garlic, salt, cayenne, tomato paste, white wine vinegar, olive oil, lemon juice, tomato juice and thyme. Cover and refrigerate overnight. The next day, remove the thyme (yeah, I totally forgot to do this removal worse for the wear)  and blend the soup in a blender until it is smooth.

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