Roasted Garlic Gazpacho
Gazpacho is a cold Spanish-style soup made from tomatoes, olive oil, wine vinegar and other vegetables. It’s typically loaded with raw onions and garlic, so every time I see it on a restaurant menu, I have an inner dialogue weighing how much I love it against how much I’ll regret eating it later. I wanted to come up with a recipe that was full of flavor but without sharp and lingering aftereffects, so I replaced the traditional raw onions and garlic with lots of mellow, sweet roasted garlic. It came out great — vibrant and full of robust tomato flavor — and you can eat it til your heart’s content because it’s super healthy and goes down smooth.
Gazpacho is also incredibly easy to make. Aside from the roasted garlic in this recipe, everything is raw. You simply blitz all the vegetables in a food processor, and then stir in the liquid ingredients and seasoning.
Begin by roasting the garlic cloves over medium heat in a small dry pan. When the skins are browned and the cloves are soft, they’re done.
In the meantime, chop the vegetables into large chunks.
Peel the roasted garlic and scrape off any char.
Add the peeled cloves to the bowl of a food processor and blitz to purée, then add the chopped tomatoes and pulse until coarsely chopped. Be careful not to overmix; you want the soup to be slightly chunky.
Add the vegetables to the bowl with the tomatoes, then pour in the tomato juice, olive oil, red wine vinegar and seasoning.
That’s all there is to it. Cover the soup and refrigerate until ready to serve — the longer it sits, the better it tastes. I love it simple and ungarnished, but you can also top it with croutons, sliced avocado or chopped hard boiled eggs.
Roasted Garlic Gazpacho
- 8 garlic cloves, unpeeled
- 4 large vine-ripened tomatoes, cored and cut into 1-inch chunks
- 2 red bell peppers, cored, seeded and cut into 1-inch chunks
- 1 English or hothouse cucumber, halved, seeded and cut into 1-inch chunks (do not peel)
- 5 cups tomato juice, such as Campbells's (not the low sodium)
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, best quality such as Colavita or Lucini
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar, best quality such as Pompeian Gourmet
- 1-1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon Tabasco (optional)
- Place the unpeeled garlic cloves in a small skillet over medium heat; cook, turning occasionally, until soft and blackened in spots, about 10 to 15 minutes. Cool, then remove skins (they should slip right off) and scrape off any char.
- Add the peeled roasted garlic to the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade; pulse, scraping down sides as necessary, until garlic is finely puréed. Add the chopped tomatoes and pulse until coarsely chopped. Do not overmix; the soup should be slightly chunky. Transfer the tomato mixture to an extra large bowl. Add the red bell peppers and cucumbers to the food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped; add to the bowl with the tomato mixture. Stir in the tomato juice, olive oil, red wine vinegar, salt, pepper and Tabasco. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. Cover the bowl with saran wrap and chill until ready to serve. The longer it sits, the better it tastes. Serve cold.
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