One of my favorite foods is gazpacho. When we had just moved to Andrews, and I was learning to cook, I tried to make it. EDW and I hadn't gotten married yet, so I didn't have a blender or really any cookbooks. I decided to try making a version from The Joy of Cooking, which my granny had let me take back after a visit one day. I was working with the 1975 edition, and dear old Irma Rombauer made me think I could do it without a blender if I just chopped everything really small.
Um, Irma? No such luck. While I've had much success with other Joy of Cooking recipes, this one was a total fail. The gazpacho I made was terrible. I think it had several unnecessary ingredients, but what sticks out in my mind is the recipe's use of beef broth.
People. Gazpacho needs no broth. If you blend it, it makes its own broth.
I actually hadn't attempted gazpacho since that day in July 2008, but when I saw my pal Lindsey's facebook post about her gazpacho, I decided to give it a go. This time, I had my trusty food processor (because really, when a recipe says to blend in batches in a blender I always pull out the cuisinart, or I just let my immersion blender do the trick) and amazingly fresh produce to work with.
And no beef broth.
I pureed two heirloom tomatoes (one from my CSA, one from darling Barbara), a red bell pepper, half a red onion, some garlic, and a couple cucumbers (we received two this week but I'm saving them for another favorite cold soup, so these are from EDW's library patrons who have a bumper crop). Instead of transferring everything to a bowl to stir in olive oil, sherry vinegar, salt and pepper, I just dumped that on top and pulsed a few more times.
Into the fridge the soup went, along with my wildest gazpacho dreams. Would it come out as refreshing and flavorful as I wanted? Or would it be another batch, like my first, down the drain?
A big thank you goes to Lindsey, for alerting me to this recipe; to my in-laws, for giving me the best Christmas present ever in 2010, the cuisinart 9 cup food processor; to Barbara, for one of the heirloom tomatoes; and to all the other farmers whose produce led me to this perfect soup.
The gazpacho was lovely. It was cool and crisp and refreshing, with the perfect amount of tang. We had it with our lemony zucchini risotto (more on that later), and I was in summer vegetable heaven. EDW liked it a lot, but he'll be the first to admit that I'm more of the gazpacho fiend in our family. It went perfectly with our risotto (seriously, check back later-- you'll cry it's so good), and I was in pure beef broth free bliss.