Friday, July 27, 2012
I first made this last summer, in what I'm calling the summer of chilled soups because of all the blending and chilling I did. This summer, lacking a blender (immersion or otherwise) in Paris, there are far fewer soups because I tend to like to purée part and pour it over a portion of chopped vegetables or fruit or both.
And I guess it's a little funny that I left this recipe for so long, since it turned out to be one of my favorites in the cold-soup category (like how that's an entire category now?) Outside of salsa I haven't dealt much with tomatillos, but, once I get back to New York's East Harlem where they're readily available, I anticipate using them much more. Related to the tomato in the same way a ground cherry is, a very ripe raw tomatillo has similar citrusy notes. I'm sure using the ground cherry, which you hardly ever see, as a benchmark is super helpful, isn't it.
The idea for the recipe came from Matthew Kenney's Everyday Raw, but I made a few changes. For one thing, Kenney calls for 1/4 cup ginger juice. Ginger juice is usually encountered in Chinese cuisine as part of a marinade or sauce. You can find it bottled in a good Asian grocer, or you can even make your own if you feel like grating enough ginger from which to squeeze that much juice. (I haven't tried a juicer, but maybe that would be an option as well?) I went the easy way and just grated about a teaspoon worth of fresh ginger. I also added mint because it just felt right, and toasted some almonds to throw over the top.
Tomatillo and Green Grape Gazpacho
Adapted from Matthew Kenney's Everyday Raw
1 large cucumber, peeled, seeded and chopped
4-5 tomatillos, chopped
2 heaping cups green grapes, sliced in half
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1 tablespoon minced fresh mint
Toasted almond slices for garnish
Salt and freshly ground white pepper to season
Place all of the chopped vegetables and fruits into a large bowl along with the ginger. Put the mint in a blender along with the honey (if using) and add 3/4ths of the fruit and vegetable mixture. Blend until smooth. Add the blended soup back to the bowl which still contains the rest of the chopped fruits and vegetables. Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper (if using) and top with toasted almonds for garnish or perhaps a sprinkling of fresh mint.
Note: I could see this soup being sweetened with a little honey and perhaps spiced with about 1/2 a seeded jalapeño, maybe even in the same batch. That's what I do next time.