Summer will always remind me of Gazpacho, and Gazpacho will always remind me of the summer in Barcelona. The summer my husband and I spent learning Spanish (hopelessly), when we were just engaged. Walking to and from the beach, by the powerful smell and intoxicating flavor of white peaches in the peak of ripeness, watching bad American films, playing Gin Rummy, and drinking gazpacho.
Not just any Gazpacho, but the gazpacho that comes out of a milk carton, sold in the oddly scarce grocery stores, that tastes best when grabbed from the fridge door, and drunk straight from the carton. But also good when topped with sliced avocado and a drizzle of olive oil.
I drank many gazpacho milk cartons that summer, and every time summer approaches, I crave Gazpacho. Every summer I have tried to duplicate that milk carton gazpacho, and every summer have been disappointed. That is, every summer, until this one.
I was flipping through Suzanne Goin's Sunday Suppers at Lucques and was immediately drawn to a brilliant yellow soup, which turned out to be yellow gazpacho. Yellow because it was made from yellow tomatoes. I was intrigued.
So I set out for the ingredients, and not being able to find yellow tomato's settled for red. However, when I tasted the soup, I realized I had finally found it. My Gazpacho quest could come to end. This soup hit the mark. It is so close to the flavor of my beloved Gazpacho, I would dare say, it's even better.
Red, but possibly yellow, Gazpacho
About 2 lbs tomatoes, scored (cut an x on the bottom)
10 oz. cucumber (1-1/2), peeled & chopped
1/2 jalapeno, seeded & chopped (more if you like spicy foods)
8 sprigs cilantro
1/3 extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbs good quality red wine vinegar
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1-1/2 tsp salt
pepper to taste
2 sweet peppers, chopped & seeded
1/2 sweet red onion
- Bring a big pot of water to a boil. Once at a rolling boil, drop the tomatoesin for 30 seconds. Take out and run under cold water.
-Once the tomatoes have cooled, peeled, core, seed, and chop.
-Place all of the ingredients (reserve the garnish) in a food processor. Blend until smooth. This may have to be done in two steps depending on the size of you machine. I had to do it in three. If this is the case for you, place half of everything (or a third) in the machine, and repeat.
- If you want a smooth soup, push it trough a fine mesh sieve. If a couple cucumber or tomato chunks don't bother you, Then the hard work is over for you.
-Taste and adjust seasoning.
-Refrigerate for a least one hour before serving.
-When ready to serve, top with the garnish and a drizzle of olive oil.
***If you can find yellow tomatoes, definitely indulge. We eat with our eyes after all, and this soup has the potential to be so beautiful.