Thursday, August 23, 2012

Dad's Gazpacho

Dad was a genius in the kitchen and would spend hours concocting the most elaborate feasts—often for no occasion at all. He just loved cooking. I can only dream of becoming a fraction as talented in the kitchen as dad was. He was really something special.

While there’s nothing too elaborate about this particular dish, it is the best gazpacho I’ve ever had—Dad spent years perfecting it. Like any gazpacho, this recipe is especially delicious when you can get fresh, local veggies. Exotic, unusual-tasting heirloom tomatoes can also give this soup interesting dimensions. Only for summertime!

Prep time: 1 cocktail 

1 box of croutons, divided
¾ cup chopped celery
½ very small onion
1-1.5 large cucumber, chopped
1 red or yellow bell pepper, chopped
4 tomatoes chopped
2 garlic cloves, (NO MORE!) minced
4 Tbsp red wine vinegar
½ tsp ground cumin
1 Tbsp +1 tsp Tabasco
1.5 cups cold veggie stock
2 cups cold tomato juice (Snappy Tom is best)
¼ cup olive oil
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
Italian flat-leaf parsley (optional)

Blend 1 cup of croutons into crumbs in food processor or blender. Set aside.

Next, combine celery, onion, cucumber, bell pepper, tomato, and garlic in food processor. Mix well.

Now combine crouton crumbs, veggie mixture, and all remaining ingredients in a blender and mix well.

Depending on the tomato juice used, it may be necessary to add additional salt to taste.  

Serve chilled with additional whole croutons on top. Also garnish with a drizzle of good olive oil, parsley and additional minced veggies, if you like. 

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