For me, chilled soups can be hit or miss. I’ve had wonderful ones–one in particular I remember was a strawberry basil soup that I ate on a summer afternoon on the patio of one of my favorite (unfortunately, now closed) Chicago restaurants, Bistro 110.
But, I’ll admit, sometimes cold soup can be a little weird. One that is almost always delicious, though, is gazpacho. On a warm day, it’s the perfect lunch. And it makes a filling dinner when paired with some grilled bread or, like we had, sautéed shrimp.
This soup is a creamier gazpacho. I certainly love chunky, almost salsa-like versions, too, but this one isn’t really like that. It has a nice, smoother texture, while not being completely pureed or watery. I think this gets better the longer it sits, so making it the night before and chilling overnight would be the best, but not necessary.
Roasted Tomato Gazpacho
- 1.5 pounds roma tomatoes
- 1/2 large yellow onion, cut into large wedges
- 1 red bell pepper
- 1 anaheim pepper
- 3 garlic cloves
- 1 T olive oil
- 1 T sherry vinegar
- 1/4 slivered or sliced almonds, toasted
- 1 thick slice sourdough bread, toasted (or staled)
- Optional toppings: cilantro, crushed red pepper, chopped tomatoes, and green onions (these are what we used, but anything that sounds good works, too)
Toast the almonds: put them in a pan over medium high heat. Heat until fragrant and a bit golden, stirring or shaking the pan while the almonds toast, to make sure they don’t burn. Keep an eye on them–they can burn in a blink. When they smell “nutty” and start to change color a bit, they’re done.
Make the gazpacho: heat a grill pan or cast iron pan over high heat. Place the whole tomatoes, onion wedges, whole peppers, and whole garlic cloves in the pan. (This is dry roasting, so you don’t need any oil or anything in the pan.) Dry roast the vegetables until black char marks appear on the sides. Things may finish roasting at different times, so remove them as they get enough char.
Core the tomatoes and peppers (removing the seeds and ribs). Remove the paper from the garlic cloves.
In a food processor, combine the tomatoes, onion, peppers, garlic, olive oil, sherry vinegar, and salt/pepper. Blend until pureed.
Add toasted almonds and bread. Adjust seasoning if needed. Chill.
Serve with anything that sounds good–two of my favorite things are thick slices of grilled or toasted focaccia bread and shrimp. The shrimp in the photo above were tossed in salt, pepper, garlic, creole seasoning, chili powder, and olive oil; then sautéed in a skillet over medium-high heat until they just turned pink. Easy, healthy, and yummy!