Sunday, July 18, 2010
When I was in Denver last week, my best high school friend E and I indulged in an afternoon of cooking so that we could then indulge in an evening of eating. Great activities, both. We both wanted gazpacho, but she was more interested in an avocado version that suggested you replace the four tomatoes with an equal number of avocado. I was a little worried, with this soup, that it would end up being a glorified guacamole, so we compromised and kept some of the tomatoes while adding fewer avocados.
It's definitely a soup and not a dip, and a version of gazpacho that's particularly good if you haven't quite gotten to that point in summer when the freshest, juiciest, most perfect tomatoes finally become available. This is a soup for those B-lister fruits. I added lemon juice with abandon, but you should probably be a little more careful, since this version came out far too lemony. So perhaps start with the juice of half a lemon and add more during the seasoning and correcting phase right at the end.
Adapted from Janet Mendel's Cooking in Spain
3 slices bread, crusts removed, soaked in water
2 large ripe tomatoes
1 orange bell pepper (any color)
2 cloves garlic
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
Juice of 1 lemon (don't add it all at once, start out slow and add more at the end if you need it)
1-2 cups water
Puree the vegetables (all should be chopped) in a blender then transfer to a bowl. Squeeze the water from the bread and wizz that in the blender, then add the oil, and blend again. Then add the salt, turmeric and lemon juice. Put some of the vegetable puree back into the blender and blend it together, then add the mixture in the blender to the vegetable puree in the bowl. Stir in as much of the water as you want to reach your preferred consistency. Correct the seasoning and chill before serving.