Tag Archives: Gazpacho

Golden gazpacho

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:

  1. It must be blended completely smooth.
  2. It must be relatively light on tomato, and heavy on other flavors.
  3. 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

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Cherry tomato gazpacho

Sometimes, it’s better to run up the white flag and admit defeat. This is one of those times. After many years, many attempts, many perplexed spoonfuls, it’s time to face the truth: I’m just not that crazy about gazpacho.

It’s a raw-tomato thing. No matter how delicately it’s flavored, or how finely it’s blitzed, there’s always that sharp, sweet undertone of raw tomato that stops me cold. I don’t know why it bothers me so much, but it does. It always spoils the soup for me. I’ve had–and loved–gorgeous gazpachos based on almonds, or bell peppers, or watermelon. Gazpacho itself doesn’t bother me. But the old-fashioned tomato-based salad-in-a-bowl gazpacho? The one people think of when they think of gazpacho? Not my thing.

It seems bizarre, not to like gazpacho. Almost everyone I’ve met thinks it’s a treat. So I keep trying, thinking that if I make it myself, I’ll like it better. Years pass between attempts, and I forget how unimpressed I was, and start wondering. That last batch I made wasn’t terrible. Maybe I’ll make it right this time, and teach myself to love it. There’s always one more attempt, leading to one more bowl of disappointing soup.

This latest effort was no exception. I thought, maybe if I base this one on cherry tomatoes–which I can sometimes convince myself to eat–I’ll fare better. I left the gazpacho chunky, in deference to Sam (who hates pureed soups), and it was…not pleasant. That tomato tang was there in spades, and every squishy crunch of a tomato hull reminded me of what I was eating.

But Sam seemed to like it. He cleaned his bowl in record time. So, all things considered, this is probably a reasonably tasty gazpacho; I’m just a terrible judge.

cherry tomato gazpacho

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