It’s hot… It’s the kind of hot where you’re sweating within 45 seconds of being out in the heat. While it’s a tad cooler at the moment (and by that I mean 80 degrees, which is surprisingly pleasant), this past week it was near 100 for two days! Ugh, thank god I have AC. Cooking in 100 degree weather is never fun (especially in the sauna that is my apartment) so I decided to make a dish sans cooking… The classic “beat the heat” gazpacho, a cold summertime soup — which I recently learned — hails from the Andalusia region in Southern Spain.
I’ve had several varieties of gazpacho in my life from the traditional tomato based one to a more unique melon gazpacho. This time around, I decided to make a yellow gazpacho, using yellow tomatoes and bell peppers.
Of course, I couldn’t find the abundance of yellow tomatoes I needed for this recipe but c’est la vie. I used an mélange of red tomatoes and yellow/red grape tomatoes along with yellow, orange and red peppers!
The trick to this recipe and I’d say a good gazpacho is peeling your tomatoes before hand. The easiest way to do this is to pierce the skin of your tomato and then submerge it in boiling water until the skin starts to peel.
Then transfer your tomato to a bowl of ice water and peel the skin from the tomato. (Waiting a few seconds before peeling it helps… I of course have no patience and just went right in much to the chagrin of my fingers).
In addition to the tomatoes, you’ll need the standard cucumber, garlic and a little jalapeño for some added heat.
Add everything (including a ¼ cup white vinegar and olive oil) to a blender in batches and purée.
After blending, I strained my mixture for a nice and smooth gazpacho.
To garnish, I made a little olive and sun dried tomato tapenade atop croutons.
While gazpacho is a particularly good meal in a heat wave, it’s the perfect summer dish in general. Plus… who knows, maybe I’ll be needing this dish later on in the summer again? Hoping no more 100+ days but who knows what August will bring??
- 1 large European cucumber, peeled and coarsely chopped
- ¼ cup white wine vinegar
- 1 small onion, coarsely chopped
- 4 garlic cloves—3 minced, 1 whole
- 2 pounds yellow tomatoes—peeled, seeded and coarsely chopped
- 2 small yellow bell peppers—cored, seeded and coarsely chopped
- ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing
- 2 jalapeños, seeded and finely chopped (optional)
- Salt and freshly ground white pepper
- Hot sauce (optional)
- Three 1-inch-thick slices country bread, crusts removed
- Put the cucumber in a blender or food processor, add the vinegar and pulse until finely chopped but not pureed. Transfer to a large bowl or pitcher. Add the onion, minced garlic, two-thirds of the tomatoes and half the yellow peppers to the blender and puree until smooth. Add this mixture to the cucumber. Finely chop the remaining tomatoes and yellow bell peppers by hand and stir them into the gazpacho. Whisk in the olive oil and jalapeños and season with salt, white pepper and hot sauce. Refrigerate the gazpacho until cold, at least 3 hours.
- Preheat the broiler. Brush the bread on both sides with olive oil. Toast the bread under the broiler, turning once. Rub with the whole garlic clove and cut the toast into ½-inch dice. Serve the cold soup in shallow bowls, garnished with the hot croutons.