I talked about my LOVE for gazpacho earlier this summer in the Spicy Cucumber Gazpacho post. In a moment of wild gazpacho abandon, I promised to share at least six of my favorite gazpacho recipes with you this summer. Whatever was I thinking? It’s August already and this is only number two. Mea culpa! Mea culpa!
Nevertheless, this particular gazpacho is so wonderful, I hope you will forgive me for not delivering the others. Roasted red bell peppers are one of the most gorgeous flavors in the world. They are both sweet and savory, silky and toothsome, subtle and bold. I buy them by the half dozen every week and dream up ways to use them.
This is one of the simplest ways I know. It’s incredibly refreshing and surprisingly satisfying on a hot summer evening. A loaf of crackly bread and a couple of excellent cheeses will make a simple and memorable meal. Throw in a lovely dessert (Grilled Peaches with Basil Crème Fraîche?), and you’re a rock star.
Roasted Red Bell Pepper Gazpacho
A sweet, sassy, smoky variation on the more traditional tomato gazpacho, this cold, spicy soup makes an excellent first course for warm summer evenings. The combination of smoked hot paprika and orange really takes the flavors here into the magic zone.
6 red bell peppers, roasted, cored, seeded, deribbed and chopped (3 cups chopped, roasted, peeled red bell peppers) (1½ pounds roasted)
5 ounces super-sweet grape tomatoes
1/4 red onion, peeled, and rough chopped
1-2 serrano chili peppers, halved lengthwise, cored, seeded, and deribbed (use disposable gloves!)
2 cloves peeled garlic
¾ cup chicken or vegetable stock
¼ fresh orange juice
¼ cup olive oil
2 tablespoons finely grated orange zest
2 tablespoons excellent quality Sherry vinegar
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons smoked hot paprika
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
1 cup, seeded, juiced, diced yellow tomato (1 tomato)
1/2 cup finely slivered green onions, green part only (2 green onions)
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro (or parsley if preferred)
2 teaspoons coarsely grated lemon peel
- To the jar of a blender, add the red bell peppers, tomatoes, red onion, serrano chiles, and garlic. Cover and liquefy.
- Add the stock, orange juice, olive oil, orange zest, Sherry vinegar, lemon juice, paprika, salt, and pepper. Cover and liquefy.
- Taste for a perfect balance between sweetness, acidity, salt, and depth of flavor. Adjust as necessary.
- Add a little more stock if necessary to achieve a good soup texture (not too thick, not too thin).
- Remove soup to a covered container and chill for at least 4 hours.
- To serve, ladle soup into each of 4-6 clear glass cups or bowls, and garnish each with a small amount of yellow tomato, green onion, cilantro, and grated lemon peel.