We’ve tried many gazpachos over the years, and this one, very slightly adapted from a recipe by Suzanne Goin from Sunday Suppers at Lucques, wins the prize.
It’s gorgeous made with gold or green tomatoes. There’s no bread in it, so it’s rich with tomato and vegetable goodness. Suzanne peeled her tomatoes first, and I don’t bother, as the skins will be thoroughly blended. I do remove the seeds, however. Where she used red wine vinegar, I’ve substituted sherry vinegar, my personal favorite.
And if red tomatoes are all you’ve got, they’ll be just as tasty. Just use a contrasting color of cherry tomato in the garnish.
2 ½ lbs. ripe yellow or green tomatoes
3 Persian cucumbers, or 1 hothouse cucumber
½ jalapeno, seeded and cut in half
4 sprigs cilantro, plus 12 cilantro leaves
2 small cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
2 Tbs. sherry vinegar
1/3 c. mild extra-virgin olive oil
3 Tbs. diced red or orange sweet pepper (use green bell if using green tomatoes)
3 Tbs. diced red onion
18 small cherry tomatoes, cut in half.
Super-good extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Ice water to thin soup, as needed
Cut tomatoes in half and remove and discard seeds. Chop coarsely, saving all the juice.
Seed and dice three tablespoon worth of unpeeled cucumber as prettily as you can manage, for the garnish. Set aside. Peel and coarsely chop the remaining cucumbers.
You will need to make the soup in batches. Place half the yellow or green tomatoes, coarsely chopped cucumber, jalapeno, cilantro sprigs, garlic, vinegar, and olive oil in a blender with 1 tsp. salt and some pepper. Process at the lowest speed until broken down. Turn the speed up to high, and puree until the soup is completely smooth. If the soup is too thick, add a little ice water. Strain the soup if desired, and taste for seasoning. Repeat with the rest of the soup ingredients, and combine mixtures. Chill the soup in the refrigerator; it should be served very cold.
Toss the diced pepper, diced onion, and diced cucumber together in a small bowl.
Pour the gazpacho into six chilled soup bowls, and scatter the pepper mixture over the soup. Season the cherry tomatoes with salt and pepper and place three cherry tomato halves and two cilantro leaves at the center of each bowl. Finish each soup with a drizzle of the fancy EVOO.
Adapted from Sunday Suppers at Lucques by Suzanne Goin with Teri Gelber, Knopf, 2005