Turning toward savory foods now... With the weather warming up, K made a creamy gazpacho the other night. This is the best gazpacho I've ever tasted. Seriously. I had it everywhere in Barcelona and none of them compare to K's. Granted, I may not have sampled the cream of the crop, but I can't imagine one better than this.
Creamy Gazpacho Andaluz
Makes: 4 to 6 servings
3 pounds (about 6 medium) ripe tomatoes, cored
1 small cucumber, peeled, halved and seeded (divided)
1 medium green bell pepper, halved, cored and seeded (divided)
1 small red onion, peeled and halved lengthwise (divided)
2 medium garlic cloves, peeled and quartered
1 small serrano chile, stemmed and halved lengthwise
2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more to taste (divided)
1 slice high-quality white sandwich bread, crust removed, torn into 1-inch pieces
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for serving
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons finely minced parsley, chives or basil leaves
freshly ground black pepper
1) Roughly chop two pounds of tomatoes, half of the cucumber, half of the bell pepper and half of the onion, and place in a large bowl.
2) Add garlic, chile and 1 ½ teaspoons salt.
3) Toss until well combined. Set aside.
4) Cut remaining tomatoes, cucumber and pepper into ¼ inch dice, and place in medium bowl.
5) Mince remaining onion and add to diced vegetables.
6) Toss with ½ teaspoon salt and transfer to fine-mesh strainer set over medium bowl. Set aside for one hour.
7) Transfer drained diced vegetables to medium bowl and set aside, reserving drained liquid.
8) Add bread pieces to reserved liquid from drained vegetables (there should be about ¼ cup) and soak for one minute.
9) Add soaked bread and any remaining liquid to roughly chopped vegetables and toss thoroughly to combine.
10) Transfer half of the vegetable-bread mixture to blender and process 30 seconds.
11) With blender running, slowly drizzle in ¼ cup oil and continue to blend until completely smooth, about two minutes.
12) Strain soup through fine-mesh strainer into large bowl, using back of ladle or rubber spatula to press soup through strainer.
13) Repeat with remaining vegetable-bread mixture and ¼ cup olive oil.
14) Stir vinegar, minced herb, and half of diced vegetables into soup and season to taste with salt and pepper.
15) Cover and refrigerate overnight, or for at least two hours to chill completely and develop flavors.
16) Serve with remaining diced vegetables, olive oil, vinegar and black pepper in separate bowls for individual garnishing.