Alex and I are trying to get into the habit of doing Meatless Mondays in our apartment. I'm not going to avoid meat if we go out to dinner, but to the extent possible we try to cook and eat vegetarian on Monday nights. This Monday we wanted to use a bunch of produce from the fridge and the farmers' market so we whipped up a batch of gazpacho (which we started on Sunday so it could sit in the fridge overnight and then all we had to do was blend and serve on Monday) and Corn on the Cob with Lime Salt. The thing that most distinguished this gazpacho from others we have made in the past to me was the smooth and almost creamy texture. Roasting the tomatoes and bell peppers intensified their flavors, but mellowed the flavor of the garlic. The acidity of the tomatoes and the vinegar (as well as the fact that the soup is served chilled) makes the soup very light and refreshing. I didn't really taste the tarragon, but I thought the soup was pretty tasty so I would make it as written again. The only thing I might try is to crisp up some serrano ham and serve the soup with crumbled crispy serrano. Yum. But not on Meatless Monday of course.
Recipe after the jump!
Adapted from Gourmet
2 pounds plum tomatoes
2 bell peppers (we used one red, one yellow)
4 garlic cloves, peeled
5 Persian cucumbers, peeled and roughly chopped
2 tbsp Sherry vinegar, or to taste
1/2 cup evoo, plus additional for drizzling
2 cups coarsely torn bread crumbs from a loaf crusty bread, with the crusts removed
1/2 tsp fresh tarragon leaves, minced
2 tsp salt, or to taste
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
1 tbsp chives, minced
Preheat oven to 350°F and line a baking pan with foil.
Arrange tomatoes, bell peppers and garlic cloves in baking pan and roast in upper third of oven for 30 minutes. Transfer tomatoes and garlic to a large bowl and continue to roast peppers (after flipping them over) until lightly charred, about 15 minutes more. Transfer peppers, including any juices in pan, to another large bowl and cover with saran wrap. Let stand, covered, until peppers are cool enough to handle.
Holding tomatoes over bowl to catch juices, peel and roughly crush by hand (I removed the stems, but that is just me). Holding peppers over their bowl to catch juices, peel peppers and discard stems and seeds. Tear peppers roughly into pieces and add to tomatoes. Pour pepper juice through a fine sieve into the tomato mixture. Stir cucumbers, vinegar, and oil into tomato mixture. Soak bread in a small bowl for 10 minutes. Drain bread, without squeezing out excess liquid, and stir into tomato mixture with tarragon, s&p. Chill mixture, covered, at least 8 hours and up to 1 day (we did it overnight).
Pur ee mixture with an immersion blender or in a food processor to your desired level of smoothness, in batches if necessary, and return to bowl. Chill gazpacho, covered, 2 hours.
Season, if desired, with additional vinegar, s&p. Ladle into bowls, drizzle with additional evoo and garnish with chives