Gazpacho

September 1, 2007

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Gazpacho is a guaranteed cooler on a hot, hot day. Traditionally, it’s made with raw vegetables, but if you don’t like the taste of raw bell pepper, onion, or garlic, you can steam or sweat them. The watermelon and beet add layers of color and sweetness nicely offset by the vinegar and mustard. It’s a lovely, lovely soup. SAM

1 1/2 pounds fresh tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and quartered (3 medium)
1 medium center ribs celery with leaves, quartered
1 small green or red bell pepper, seeded and roughly chopped
1 small poblano or chipotle pepper, seeded and quartered
1 medium sweet onion, peeled and quartered
2 cloves garlic, peeled and quartered
1 small cucumber, peeled, seeded, and quartered
1 cup seeded, chopped watermelon
1/2 cup roughly chopped fresh parsley
1 small uncooked beet, trimmed and sliced
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 tablespoon prepared mustard
3 dashes hot-pepper sauce or to taste
1/4 teaspoon curry powder, if desired
Sea salt and freshly ground white pepper to taste
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Sour Cream or yogurt cheese
1 avocado, peeled, pitted, and chopped

You can purée the soup in a food processor fitted with a metal blade or in a medium mixing bowl with an immersion blender. Combine the tomatoes, celery, peppers, onion, garlic, cucumber, watermelon, parsley, and beet. Add the vinegar, lemon juice, mustard, hot-pepper sauce, curry powder, salt, pepper, and olive oil. Process until smooth. Serve garnished with sour cream or yogurt cheese and/or avocado.
Makes 4 servings.