5/17/2012

Gazpacho Sevillano for Summer

Another retro dish, or we could say a classic, popular in way more places than Spain.  Fabulous in hot weather, an icy cold soup full of  fresh vegetables that scream Summer is here!  I must confess to having some in a new favorite restaurant, and thinking, "This is not the way it should be.  I can do a much better job."  And I did.  So, no one is perfect.  They make great tapas.


My take is not going to please any purists, but as the original version, eons ago, had no tomatoes (this was before they hit the Old World), relying instead on almonds and lots of bread, do we really want to be iconic about it?  Anyway there are a gazillion versions out there. 

Here's the thing.  Just because it's hot, there is still soup stock to be used.  I recycle those bones and bits of veggies into my freezer bag until it is full, and then there is stock.  So, for this version, since a container of the stuff got defrosted to make something that didn't get made, I reduced it down to half, then let it chill out in the freezer.  A flavor boost of umaminess.  For all I know, this is a happening thing in Seville or Cadiz.


And, to accompany the soup, another impulse purchase - plantains.- fried in olive oil with a good shake of a Zahtar spice mixture. They should have been on the green side, but were very tasty anyway.

Just slice in fat chunks (if green you can mash them down first) and fry in hot olive oil, sprinkled with salt and Zahtar.  A side of fried potatoes would also do nicely.

Back to the Gazpacho. The prep goes really fast, and you can leave the finished soup to chill in the fridge while you make any accompaniments, or just all day if you prepare it in the morning.  So no sweat in the evening.  Named for Seville, where tomatoes got their start in Spain.


Gazpacho Sevillano

For two servings

1 cup reduced vegetable, chicken or duck stock, cooled
1 cucumber, peeled, seeded and chopped
2 tomatoes, chopped
1/4 cup onion, chopped
2 tablespoons parsley
1 tablespoon Balsamic vinegar
2 cloves garlic
1 small bell pepper
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon salt (adjust to taste)
 2 slices bread (I used stale country style whole grain) cut into cubes

Assemble all your ingredients.  Use one of the bread slices, cut into cubes for garnish.  Toss in olive oil and lightly toast on one side and reserve.

Now blend or food process remaining ingredients, completely smooth or however chunky you like.  Cover and refrigerate until very cold before serving.   A beautiful alternative salad.  So refreshing and full of summer's garden flavors on those sultry hot days. 

2 comments:

Swathi Iyer said...

Love that plantain fried in olive oil along with Gazpacho. We uses plantain raw, ripe and over ripe.

Joanne said...

I could have used this gazpacho in yesterday's 80 degree weather!