Sunday, June 12, 2011

Green Gazpacho

Photo by Sergio Salvador www.salvadorphoto.com
Gazpacho is an incredibly refreshing, yet filling, cold soup made from bread and vegetables. It's the perfect summer meal when it's so hot you don't feel like eating anything.

This one features spring vegetables, which is great because June always seems to be the hottest month here, yet the succulent summer vegetables are still a month or more away. It can be made with practically any combination of green leafy veggies. You can use green onions, garlic scapes, or garlic cloves depending on how pungent you like your gazpacho.

1 C. dry bread cubes
1 1/2 C. chilled water (plus more for soaking the bread)
1 C. almonds
1/2 t. salt
1/4 C. olive oil
2 C. chopped lettuce leaves
2 C. chopped spinach
1 medium cucumber, peeled and chopped (optional)
4 chopped green onions or garlic scapes (or 1 garlic clove)
2 T. any combination of fresh herbs (such as parsley, tarragon, thyme, dill, rosemary, mint, chervil, lovage, basil or cilantro)
2 T. sherry vinegar
Freshly ground black pepper

Soak the bread in just enough water to cover. After 5 to 10 minutes, when it is soft, drain and squeeze out most of the water. Combine with almonds, garlic, salt, and 1 cup chilled water in a food processor or blender. Puree until a smooth paste is formed, then drizzle in the olive oil until emulsified. Transfer to a bowl, then add the vegetables and herbs to the food processor or blender. Puree with an additional 1/2 cup of chilled water. Whisk this puree, along with the vinegar, into the bread mixture. Add pepper and additional salt and vinegar as needed. If you like your gazpacho silky smooth, puree it once more in a blender at top speed. Chill thoroughly. Serve with garnish of fresh herbs or blanched garlic scapes. Serves 8.

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