Gaspacho: Cold Soup

Chef and Cookbook author Robin Asbell shows us different versions of gazpacho.

Isabel’s Catalan Gazpacho

I learned to make this in Barcelona, from a native Catalonian named Isabel Celma. This is how they make gazpacho there, it is also sold in cups in markets, to sip at any time of day.

Serves 4, Makes 4 cups

4 medium tomatoes, peeled
1 small cucumber, peeled
1/2 medium red bell pepper, seeded
1 large anaheim chili pepper
2 cloves garlic, peeled
1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper

Peel the tomatoes with a paring knife, put in the blender and add cucumber, pepper, chile, garlic and onion, and puree. When smooth, gradually pour in olive oil to taste, then salt and pepper to taste. Serve very cold.


Watermelon Gazpacho with Mint

Cooling and perfect for summer. You can make it more of a meal with a crumble of goat cheese or even some cubed silken tofu.

Serves 4, Makes about 4 cups

4 cups watermelon, seedless, diced
1 small cucumber, finely chopped
1/2 small green bell pepper, finely chopped
2 tablespoons finely chopped red onion
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
8 sprigs fresh spearmint
1 small avocado, cubed, optional

Chop the watermelon and put it in a medium bowl. Save the juices as you go, adding them to the bowl.

Peel, seed and finely chop the cucumber, red bell pepper and red onion and add to the bowl. Add the salt and lime juice. Stir to mix, then transfer about 1 1/2 cups to a blender and puree, pouring in the olive oil with the machine running. Stir the puree back into the bowl with the chopped watermelon. Serve topped with avocado cubes, garnished with mint.


Roasted Red Pepper Gazpacho with Fresh Basil

This is a perfect way to use the ripe, fresh tomatoes from your garden. It does entail peeling and seeding them, so if you just can’t face that level of effort, sub a 15 ounce can of diced tomatoes.

Serves 4, Makes about 5 Cups

2 pounds ripe tomatoes, peeled and seeded
12 ounces roasted red peppers in a jar, drained
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 large scallion, chopped
1 small cucumber, seeded and diced
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
basil sprigs for garnish

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and get a bowl of ice water. Cut an “x” in the bottom of each tomato, then drop into boiling water for a minute, until the skin loosens. Use a slotted spoon to transfer to the ice water. Use a paring knife to strip the skin from the tomatoes as they are cool enough to handle and place peeled tomatoes on a cutting board.

Remove the cores, scoop out the seeds, and put in the food processor or blender.

Drain the roasted peppers and pat dry. Chop coarsely and add to the food processor or blender with the garlic. Pulse on and off until the mixture is chopped to your taste, don’t fully puree.

Transfer to a large bowl and stir in the olive oil, lemon juice, scallions, cucumber, salt and fresh basil, sprinkle with freshly ground pepper and mix.

Serve garnished with basil sprigs.

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