So, remember how I said I didn’t really like gazpacho? I may have spoken too soon.
There’s a Spanish-ish restaurant near my boyfriend’s apartment that does a very good gazpacho–very light, very soft, and a beautiful marigold color. I’ve eaten there several times, and ordered the gazpacho, and…well…liked it. But it wasn’t until recently that it really registered why. I just chalked it up to restaurant-magic and continued on my merry way.
But last week, Sam wanted gazpacho. He made puppy eyes at me. I caved. And it turns out there are a few things that will make me almost-kinda-sorta love gazpacho:
- It must be blended completely smooth.
- It must be relatively light on tomato, and heavy on other flavors.
- It must be served very, very, very cold.
This restaurant makes a gazpacho that nails all three. It’s ultra-smooth, soft and not the least bit fibrous. The dominant flavor is bell pepper, not tomato. And it’s served in chilled bowls, in small portions, perfect for slurping down before it loses its frigid edge.
I set about my task, and ended up with something not totally unlike the restaurant version. To keep the gorgeous golden hue, I stuck with yellow cherry tomatoes, sweet as candy, and a big yellow bell pepper. I tossed in a few chives and some tarragon, left over from making dip, and a jalapeno pepper for a slow bloom of mild heat. I refrigerated the thing in the blender carafe for a while, then strained it into bowls.
It was good. I ate all of it. (Well, most of it.)
I still don’t think tomato gazpacho will ever be my favorite soup, but at least now I know how to make a version that I will willingly eat. So, just as I started the summer with a gazpacho disappointment, let’s kick off Labor Day weekend with a gazpacho success. It’s cold, it’s refreshing, it’s the color of sunny summer things, and it’s a nice reminder that I can sometimes be wrong about food.
Golden Gazpacho (serves 4 as an appetizer)
Adapted from this recipe
3/4 lb ripe yellow tomatoes (about 3 medium globe tomatoes or 2 cups cherry tomatoes)
1 large yellow bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 medium jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely diced
3 tbsp chopped fresh chives
2 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
1 tbsp chopped fresh tarragon
Juice of half a lemon (about 1 tbsp)
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Ice-cold water as needed
Extra virgin olive oil for drizzling
In a blender, combine tomatoes, bell pepper, jalapeno, chives, thyme, tarragon, lemon juice, vinegar, salt, and pepper, and puree until smooth. If you want a thinner soup, add cold water as needed. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, and up to 3 days.
About 30 minutes before serving, place your soup bowls or cups in the freezer to chill. Strain the chilled gazpacho through a fine mesh strainer (for a finer result, line the strainer with cheesecloth). Taste and adjust the salt and pepper as desired. Serve ice-cold in chilled bowls, with a drizzle of olive oil on top.