Friday, April 13, 2012

Whole Foods Friday: Gazpacho

Gazpacho is a great starter. Since it's a cold soup, you don't have to worry about keeping it warm for serving. And since it's best when it's made the day before, you don't have to do anything with it before serving - just pour and serve. It's just as welcome at a formal meal as at a casual one.

And while it's light - I mean, after all, it's all vegetables - it's got a lot of flavor and it's thick enough to seem hearty and filling.

I like to serve it in small glasses rather than a bowl - it just seems right.

While most gazpachos are made entirely from raw vegetables, I added a roasted pepper to this as well.

Gazpacho

2 bell peppers (red, yellow, or orange)
1 large tomato
2 stalks celery
2 small cucumbers
2 teaspoons salt (or as needed)
2 tablespoons wine vinegar (or as needed)
Olive oil (optional)

Roast one of the peppers until the skin is blackened. Put it in a bowl and over with plastic wrap while you prepare the other vegetables.

Core and seed the other pepper, cut it in chunks, and put it in your blender (or food processor). Core the tomato, cut it in chunks, and add it to the blender. Cut the celery into chunks and add it to the blender.

You can peel the cucumbers, if you prefer. Small cucumbers should have tender seeds, but if you use an older computer with tough seeds, remove the seeds. Cut the cucumbers into chunks and add it to the blender.

Peel the roasted pepper, remove the core and seeds, cut it in chunks, and add it to the blender. Add 1 teaspoon of salt.

Blend the vegetables until smooth. Taste for seasoning and add more salt, if needed. Add the vinegar if you prefer a more tart gazpacho.

The soup can be served immediately, but it's best if you serve it the next day. If you like drizzle a bit of olive oil over the top.

For more information about Whole Foods Friday, see the tab at the top.
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