Thursday, June 25, 2009

Barefoot Bloggers: Gazpacho

Gazpacho is on the menu for Barefoot Bloggers this week thanks to Meryl of My Bit of Earth. I've loved gazpacho ever since I was old enough to be willing to try it (willingness to try gazpacho, i.e. cold vegetable soup, might be as good of a demarcation line between childhood and adulthood as anything). Nowadays I find gazpacho to be like pizza -- I think even bad gazpacho is pretty good.


I'll never forgot a couple of summers ago when we were selling our first house. The whole house-selling process was a complete mystery to me. A couple of days after we put our house on the market, the doorbell rang. When I answered it, the husband of our real estate agent walked in carrying a huge Tupperware full of gazpacho for the agent walk-through. The fact that selling a house appeared to involve real estate agent spouses feeding gazpacho to other real estate agents did not help make the process any less mysterious for me. But we sold our house, so I guess it worked.

Much as I like gazpacho, I've never made it before. Well, I suppose that I did make white gazpacho a few weeks ago, but I've never made a traditional gazpacho like Ina's before. This is super fast to make if you use the food processor as Ina suggests that you do. Each vegetable gets processed separately and then thrown together in a huge bowl with tomato juice, vinegar, oil, garlic, salt and pepper. In the Barefoot Contessa cookbook, Ina suggests that you use Sacramento Tomato Juice for superior flavor. Well, some weeks I feel like running around town looking for things like Sacramento Tomato Juice, and some weeks I don't. This was a "don't" week, so I used Campbell's Tomato Juice, and the gazpacho tasted just fine to me.

Ina's recipe also calls for 1/2 cup oil (note: I made the full recipe in the book, which is double the version posted here on the Food Network website). While I love and trust Ina, I strongly suspected that I could get away with much less than 1/2 cup oil. I decided to start with 2T and go up from there if it needed it. It didn't - 2T was plenty in my opinion. Reducing the oil makes this a really light soup.

I was concentrating so hard on my planned oil reduction that I completely forgot the vinegar. Trust me, you definitely don't want to forget that. I think poor David thought that I was trying to kill him when he took the first bite of the soup without vinegar. Once I added the vinegar it was much better.

I really thought this soup was delicious, and I ate it every day for a week. A large container of this soup will be a fixture in my refrigerator this summer. Thanks for the great pick, Meryl!

23 comments:

Debinhawaii said...

Your gazpacho looks great. (I too cut the oil and the salt, (Oh Ina, Ina!) I am a huge gazpacho fan and loved Ina's recipe--simple and good. (And I share your moods for hunting for specific ingredients...V-8 Low Sodium works just fine too!) ;-)

Penny said...

Since I made the version from the food network, 1/4 cup oil did not sound like too much oil. It was fine, but next time I think I will cut it. Deb's right about the v-8 juice. That is what I used. Yours looks great.

Audrey said...

I'm not even crazy about gazpacho but looking at your picture just could turn me into an adult! (I'm kind of a late bloomer, fresh tomato-wise, but I'm getting there!) I'm glad you found a great recipe for one of your favorite things - I LOVE when that happens.

Suzie said...

I'm with you in the Gazpacho-lovers camp - I once went on a two week holiday to Spain and had at least one bowl every day. Perfect!

finsmom said...

This would be so perfect for a summer BBQ!

Maria said...

Love all of the veggies! Perfect summer meal if you ask me.

Barbara Bakes said...

I am still in the never tried gazpacho category. I don't remember seeing it on many menus. Perhaps it's just where I live. But since you said it's like pizza, now I really do want to try it!

MacDuff said...

This looks awesome! And seriously, there's nothing better than gazpacho in the summer. It's still raining cats and dogs here in the Northeast, so we're not having the heat wave I'm sure you are. It's actually still cold. Dammit. Now I am doubly disappointed, both with the weather and the fact that all our soups are heated.

Yeah, I think Ina could use to cut back on the oil - in her soups and in everything.

Anne said...

That looks delicious and I'm glad to hear you can cut the oil no problem (always a good thing with these recipes!) :)

pinkstripes said...

Wow! I know Ina likes her fats, but a 1/2 cup is a lot of oil. 2 tbsp sounds so much better. Your soup looks great.

Steph said...

1/2 cup of oil is crazy! Good call on the reduction.

The Blonde Duck said...

I've never had gazpacho, but yours looks great!

I don't get how it could sell a house though...

Nancy/n.o.e said...

You are so right that it's a demarcation line for adulthood. I'm glad I'm on this side of the line because I adore gazpacho. I have a strong favorite recipe (have made several) and will have to compare Ina's. I might be tempted to eat it twice a day in this heat...

Natashya said...

Looks great Cathy! I tagged along with you guys this week when Deb told me you were making gazpacho, I had always wanted to make it too.
So funny about it being a benchmark to adulthood - I thought that too when my daughter said she'd like to eat it.

Melissa said...

What a great summer meal! It's always nice to have something on hand in the fridge when you want a quick meal. Looks delish!

Leslie said...

Truly, this is a must-have in the summer fridge. It was so substantial even though it was a cup of vegetables. I also cut the oil in half and I think I could cut it even more since it started having an oil mouth-feel after a couple of days. Reading my fellow bloggers cooking from Dorie, Ellie and Ina has really taught me I don't have to go all over town to find the perfect___. Whatever I have that's easy usually works.

Mary-Irene said...

I used less oil and far less garlic than called for. Tasted great!! This is a good summer staple for sure!

AmyRuth said...

Ummm what a great looking summertime treat, Cathy. So healthy and just looks like it belongs out at a fancy backyard feast. (As I am eating my skinny grilled chicken breast, boo hoo)
AmyRuth

Meryl said...

So glad you liked it. I meant to cut the oil in half, but then forgot about it. Still very good, of course, but definitely didn't need it.

Pamela said...

Something about the idea of cold soup just doesn't seem right to me. But this post has made me rethink that. I really should be more open and give it a try. And nice job taking the oil down a few notches. It really looks tempting.

Aggie said...

I agree, I will have a container of this soup in the fridge this week too!! I thought it was great...and yours looks awesome!

Tracey said...

Oh my word, 1/2 cup of oil? That's a lot! I've only had gazpacho once and I wasn't a huge fan but maybe it's time for me to give it another shot. Yours looks awesome!

Kayte said...

Putting this on my list of things to know about you: Will comb kingdom come for Fresh Yeast, not willing to do so for Sacremento Tomato Juice (unless possibly it comes with free trip to Sacramento). Soup looks wonderful, I use Ina's recipe all the time, too, and I also use a smidgen of oil as she is very heavy handed with the oil. If you toss some booze in there, it could pass for a Bloody Mary, I bet.

 
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