Survival Soup! (Spanish Style Gazpacho)
By Lisabet Summa, Executive Culinary Director and Chef Partner
Big Time Restaurant Group (City Cellar, Grease Burger Bar, Louie Bossi’s, City Oyster, Big City Tavern, Rocco’s Tacos)
Here are a couple of variations on gazpacho for a chilled, health, refreshing, easy, low calorie, make ahead first course packed with veggie goodness.
2 lbs. ripe red tomatoes chopped
1 small hot pepper (jalapeno or serrano )stem and seeds removed
1 large red bell pepper (roasted or raw) chopped, stem and seeds removed
1 ½ c. stale crusty bread torn in large pieces
1/3 c. chopped sweet red onion
¼ c. red vinegar (Spanish Jimenez Sherry is the best!)
½ large cucumber rough chopped and peeled
Salt to taste
Cracked ground black peppercorn, to taste
Spanish smoked paprika, to taste (a truly distinctive smoky
Paprika that gives this soup an interesting and authentic Spanish flavor)
In large bowl marinate all the ingredients overnight (except for the seasonings). The next day blend batches in blender until smooth.
Chill in large pitcher in the refrigerator.
**Sriracha Hot Pepper Sauce is great for a spicier version.
Ideas for Garnishes for Soup
• Top with crusty and garlicky croutons
• Diced hard cooked egg
• Swirl of Extra Virgin Olive Oil with chopped herbs
• Fried shallot rings (To fry shallot rings, peel shallots and slice thin. Separate the rings and toss lightly in flour.
Fry in batches in a large sauté pan over medium heat until they start to color, remove to a paper towel lined plate with a slotted spoon. Season with salt while warm.
• Add Jumbo Lump Crab for a more filling soup
• Minced herbs, such as chives, Italian parsley, torn basil
• Greek yoghurt (may be seasoned with cumin or curry. Add salt and a squeeze of lemon)
• Replace tomatoes with tomatillos (boil until soft with a little water before marinating with the other ingredients)
• Replace the red pepper with 1 large chopped green bell pepper
• 1 avocado pitted and peeled
• 1 lightly packed cup of mixed herbs (use mostly Italian parsley and then add some basil or dill or cilantro )
• This green version is especially good with minced cilantro and a dollop of Greek yoghurt thinned with lime and seasoned with salt and cumin.
• Replace the tomatoes with carrots
• Boil 2 lbs. peeled, chopped carrots until slightly soft. Reserve some of the liquid for blending.
• Combine with rest of ingredients.
• Proceed as in tomato version marinating, pureeing, seasoning and chilling to serve
• This orange carrot version especially good with fresh dill and hard cooked egg
THESE CHILLED VEGGIE SOUPS ARE GUIDED BY THE PRINCIPLES OF CREATING A SMOOTH EMULSIFIED TEXTURE WITH THE ADDITION OF GOOD HEART HEALTHY OLIVE OIL, AND THE USE OF CRUSTY ARTISAN BREAD. The use of left over bread, as well as the use of any left over green salad you have from the night before make this recipe even easier.
Chill these soups thoroughly before serving. It’s easiest to serve from a large pitcher. Soup is such a great way to start a meal, as it’s filling and healthy.
These recipes are vegan, unless you use the yoghurt. They are also heart healthy.