Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Roasted Gazpacho

I absolute love tomatoes, I eat them pretty much every day and I always have a big bowl of cherry tomatoes in my kitchen that I munch on while I cook. The funny thing is,  I didn't eat tomatoes when I lived in America. When I moved to Israel I decided I'm going to try to like them because tomatoes are such a big part of Israeli cuisine (I still don't like olives, but I'm working on it). I took a bite of a cherry tomato and as the tight skin snapped and the sweet juices burst from the tomato I instantly fell in love.

I love tomatoes so much that I often buy too many and I'm always looking for ways to use them up. Since it's summer I turned to the cold soup, gazpacho. This chilled Spanish soup is traditionally made with tomatoes as the main ingredient and is served chilled so it is the perfect refreshing dish for a hot summer day. To balance all those bright fresh flavors I chose to roast the vegetables to give a bit of a deeper caramelized smoky flavor to the soup.

The great thing about soup and especially gazpacho that the longer it sits the better it tastes as it gives time for the flavors to really meld together, so this soup is great to make in advance. Make it on Thursday or Friday and serve it at seudat shlishit. Make it at the start of the week and bring it to work with you and since it's meant to be served cold it's the perfect desk lunch.

Roasted Gazpacho 
12 plum tomatoes
3 red bell peppers
3 cloves garlic, peeled
1 jalape├▒o, seeded
1 tsp red wine vinegar
1 Tbs fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp crushed black pepper
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

To serve:
Greek yogurt or labne
Toasted bread
Fresh Herbs

Preheat oven to 450°F/230°C
Line a sheet pan with parchment paper and place the whole tomatoes and peppers on the tray. Roast for about 25 minutes flipping the vegetables halfway until blistered all over. Place the roasted vegetables in a bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap, this will allow the tomatoes and peppers to steam so the skins can be easily removed. Set the bowl to the side until the vegetables are cool enough to handle. Peel the skins off the tomatoes and peppers and remove the seeds from the peppers.
Place the garlic and jalapen├Á into the work bowl of a food processor fitted with an s-blade or in a blender and pulse until minced.
Add the peeled tomatoes, peppers, red wine vinegar, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. With the motor running slowly stream in the olive oil. Check for seasoning and add more salt or lemon juice if needed. Feel free to puree the soup as much as you want some like it chunky I happen to like it pretty smooth, it's up to you.
Pour the gazpacho into a container with a tight fitting lid and place in the fridge for up to a week.
To serve, ladle into bowls and top with a dollop of Greek yogurt or labne, a sprinkling of torn fresh herbs and some toasted bread for dunking.

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