There’s a soup for all seasons, and summer is no exception. Chilled gazpacho, along with a big salad is my perfect summer dinner. And summer lunch. And dinner again the next night if there happens to be any left.
This is a bit of a twist on a Spanish style gazpacho. I make it numerous ways, always drawing on the memory of the one I had on this day. Sometimes I switch up the peppers, sometimes I make it raw. Sometimes I add a few spices. But I particularly love the subtle smoky flavor that happens when the ingredients are first charred on a dry skillet. Not to mention, it’s a nice fix for less-than-amazing tomatoes.
The one liberty I suggest not taking, is subbing out the sherry vinegar. It has a certain sweetness that I don’t think any other vinegar would bring. If you hate the idea of buying a special bottle of vinegar for one recipe, stay tuned – it’s my latest obsession so I’ll have plenty of other uses for it coming up.
- 1.5 pounds cluster or roma tomatoes
- ½ a yellow onion, sliced into a few large pieces
- 2-3 anaheim or piquillo peppers (or 1 small red bell)
- 3 cloves of garlic
- 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoons sherry vinegar
- ¼ cup toasted pine nuts or marcona almonds
- 1 slice sourdough bread, stale, toasted, or grilled
- salt & pepper
- water, as needed, to thin
- optional toppings: chopped tomato, cucumber, scallion, chile flakes
- Heat a cast iron skillet, grill pan (or outdoor grill). Dry roast (whole) tomatoes, onion slices, peppers, and garlic (still in it's paper) by placing each directly in the pan, rotating every few minutes until a nice black char marks form all over. You'll probably remove the garlic first, then the peppers and lastly the onion slices and tomatoes. Let everything cool to room temp.
- Scrape most of the skin off the peppers, and remove seeds and ribbing.
- Over a bowl, core the tomatoes (saving the juice that comes out).
- Remove the paper from the garlic and place it into the food processor with the tomatoes, onion, peppers, 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar, and a generous amount of salt and pepper.
- Blend until pureed. Add pine nuts and bread and blend again. Taste and adjust.
- Chill at least 1 hour. The longer this sits the better. Taste again & adjust seasonings before serving.