Sunday, July 10, 2011

Elegant Life Leftovers: Gazpacho

This traditional cold soup made from favorite summer salad ingredients can do extra duty if you make enough for leftovers.  First we enjoyed the soup for dinner with grilled shrimp and a heavy garnish of chopped avocado and feta cheese (ricotta salata or even a semi-hard blue from Denmark would also be nice).

The next day we mixed some of the leftover soup into parboiled fresh corn kernels to create a cold summer corn salad perfect for a neighborhood picnic contribution.  You can make a fast and simple pasta salad by substituting your favorite shaped noodle (cooked) for the corn.  Be sure to schedule time for the pasta or corn mixture to cool in the fridge before it heads to the table or picnic. 

Pure Foods Project Gazpacho
Serves 4
1 medium cucumber, seeded (peel if waxed)
1 large tomato
1-2 garlic clove, peeled
1 large red bell pepper (we used 4 smaller multi-colored sweet peppers)
20-32 oz quart tomato-vegetable juice (low sodium V-8 or Knudson's Very Veggie organic)2 tablespoons chopped, fresh parsley
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
Optional: squeeze of lemon or lime juice
Serving suggestions: 16 grilled shrimp (4 per person), 1/2 sliced avocado and 2 oz feta cheese chunks

Garnishes: chopped avocado, feta cheese cubes, grilled shrimp, day-old baguette slices

  1. Roughly chop the cucumber, tomato and garlic and place in a food processor or blender.
  2. Use the pepper as is or roast it to a light char to impart a smokier flavor to your soup.  Either way, cut open and seed the pepper then roughly chop and add to other vegetables.
  3. Add 1/2 the juice and pulse or blend until vegetables are finely chopped but not pureed.
  4. Pour mixture in a large bowl or container and add remaining juice, parsley, olive oil and vinegar.
  5. Taste and add salt and pepper, lime juice and even hot sauce if your taste calls for it.  
  6. Cover and chill until serving time.
  7. Serve with grilled shrimp, avocado and feta.
Now add about a cup of the leftovers to some cooked corn or pasta (about 3-4 cups cooked) and enjoy a second time around.