For those of you in the Northeastern U.S., it might have been more useful to post this recipe when the weather was in the upper 90s. But you can enjoy this even if the temperature this week drops to the 80s, especially since most of these ingredients are still plentiful in farmer's markets or backyard gardens.
I'm not typically a big fan of gazpacho, but when my friend Cathy served this to me earlier this summer, it struck just the right balance of cooling vegetables and spicy tabasco. Plus it's so loaded with healthy ingredients, you may not even feel a twinge of guilt about that second scoop of ice cream later on. She got the recipe from Epicurious.com and it includes an unusual ingredient for gazpacho - at least I've never seen it in a gazpacho recipe before -- a hard-boiled egg. Don't omit it, because even if you can't taste it, it does help thicken the soup and lends a bit more complexity to the flavor. I did leave out the beef broth though, and didn't miss it one bit, and used V-8 juice instead of tomato juice, on Cathy's recommendation. Good call Cathy.
The recipe makes a LOT of soup, so serve it to a crowd or be content to eat it daily for a week or more. I took some of it with me on a mini-beach getaway with a few friends recently (otherwise known as the Peace Sisters), and it was the perfect lunchtime meal, accompanied by some of my savory biscotti.
After our daily morning yoga workout by the bay, and our lunch of gazpacho, I had no qualms about that having that ice cream cone dipped in liquid chocolate.
printable recipe here
- 1 egg
- 2 cups chopped fresh plum tomatoes
- 1/2 cup chopped green or yellow pepper
- 1 cup chopped cucumber, seeds removed
- 1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
- 2/3 cup olive oil
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
- 2 cups beef broth (optional - I omitted this -)
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 1/4 cup finely minced parsley
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire
- Pepper, coarsely ground
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 46-ounce can tomato juice (I used V-8 juice)
- 1/2 cup plain bread crumbs
- Tabasco, to taste
- Garnish (optional): chopped parsley, minced red onion, chopped olives (I used sliced avocado)
Place egg in small pot of cold water, bring to boil, and let simmer for 10 minutes.
In a pot or large bowl, combine tomatoes, pepper, cucumber, red onion, olive oil, lemon juice, cold beef broth (optional), red wine vinegar, parsley, oregano, Worcestershire, and coarsely ground black pepper to taste. Stir.
Sprinkle garlic with a pinch of salt, and set in bowl.
When egg is finished cooking, run under cold water, remove shell, add to garlic and salt mixture, and mash together with fork.
Pour tomato juice into large pot or bowl with vegetables, and add garlic, egg, and salt mixture. Add bread crumbs and stir so that they dissolve into liquid.
(I removed about 1/2 of the mixture and puréed the other half, then put them together, so that the soup had some smoothness to it and some texture from the chopped vegetables.)
Taste for seasoning and add salt, pepper, and Tabasco to taste. Chill for at least 4 hours and serve. Garnish with chopped parsley, minced red onion, and chopped olives if desired.
Cook's Notes: · My recipe serves eight, and it's not worth the trouble to prepare this soup for one. But like homemade tomato sauce, its flavor improves with age—you can store it in the refrigerator and eat it for about a week.
· Why mash the garlic with egg and salt? To make a garlic-infused paste that adds body and substance to the tomato broth.
· Use kosher salt to bring out the flavors of the vegetables.
· Try to chop the vegetables so that they're small but not minced or pulverized, and don't worry if the sizes aren't uniform. The pieces should be small enough to chew but big enough to recognize.
· If you prefer a more elegant presentation, emulsify the chilled mixture before serving. Seasoning is a very personal matter. I tend to like my gazpacho pungent and sharp, with salt, lemon, and onion flavors lingering on the palate. If you prefer milder soup, reduce the onion, garlic, and vinegar quantities by half. If you want a spicier soup, add 2 teaspoons of minced jalepeño peppers. To make vegetarian gazpacho, substitute vegetable broth for beef broth.