Tuesday, June 2, 2009
I love this soup. Chilled icy cold, a gazpacho is a marvelous starter for a family or guest meal during the dog days of summer. Gazpacho is a cold Spanish tomato-based raw vegetable soup, originating in the southern region of Andalucía. Everyone is familiar with its red cousin, but this green version elevates tomato soup to another level. It's inexpensive and easy to make but you'll have to factor wait time into your preparation schedule. The base of the soup is a tomato water that's made by pureeing tomatoes and allowing their clear liquid to drip through several layers of cheesecloth or paper toweling. The tomato water is combined with green vegetables and herbs to produce a soup that will delight your eyes and make your taste buds sing. There are no tricks here. This is good basic food that is simply prepared and served icy cold. The recipe was developed by Alex Urena and adapted for use in The New York Times.
2-1/2 pounds ripe plum or grape tomatoes, coarsely chopped
1 stalk lemon grass, peeled and coarsely chopped
1/4 cup vodka
2 cucumbers, peeled and chopped
2 green bell peppers, seeded, cored and chopped
4 tomatillos, chopped
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon sugar
Salt and pepper
1 small handful chives
1 small handful cilantro
1 small handful parsley
1 bunch scallions, trimmed
1) One day before serving, combine tomatoes, lemon grass and vodka in a blender and purée until smooth. Line a sieve with cheesecloth or paper towels, set over a bowl and pour in tomato mixture. Refrigerate overnight; clear liquid will slowly drain through. Discard solids.
2) In a glass or ceramic bowl, combine cucumbers, green peppers, tomatillos, vinegars, lemon juice, sugar and a generous sprinkling of salt and pepper. Refrigerate overnight.
3) In a large bowl, blend marinated vegetables, avocado, chives, cilantro, parsley, scallions and tomato liquid until smooth. Taste for salt, pepper and vinegar, adding more as needed. Serve very cold. Yield: 6 to 8 servings.
This recipe is being sent to Deb at Kahahai Kitchen who sponsors Souper Sunday.