We did a gazpacho tasting at Girls Night Out. The verdict was unanimous - both needed help. Both were just plain lacking in flavor. For the most part, everyone preferred the Rustic to the Grilled. They liked the slightly chunky texture.
The next morning, I pulled out my trusty Indianapolis Collects and Cooks (given to me Christmas, 1980 by Mom) to take a look at the gazpacho recipe I've made for years. The difference? Some beef broth and tomato juice. Maybe beef broth's not what you'd traditionally find in gazpacho but it certainly made the difference. I put both containers - Grilled Gazpacho and Rustic Gazpacho on the counter and proceeded to doctor them up.
The first thing I did was add some more sherry vinegar to the Rustic. It helped but it didn't solve the problem. Because I was hesitant to add more liquid to a soup whose texture was great, I really debated with myself about adding half a can of low sodium V8. I didn't want to add a beef bouillon cube or some beef soup base because of the sodium. Then, I realized I had half a can of beef broth in the fridge. Perfect. I added 6 oz of V8, about 3 oz of beef broth and about 1 T of extra virgin olive oil. The flavor was almost perfect. Therefore, I'd recommend changing the recipe by eliminating the water and adding a mixture of V8 or tomato juice and beef broth. It really does kick the flavor up.
Now, on to the Grilled. Grilling the vegetables added a subtle smoky flavor. I was very tempted to add some chipotle chili powder. But, I was afraid it'd overwhelm the other subtle flavors. So, I settled for 6 oz of V8, 3 oz of beef broth and 1 T of extra virgin olive oil - just like the Rustic. Again, it improved the gazpacho immeasurably. I'd do the same here. Eliminate the water and use the V8 and beef broth.
Next, another tasting. Connie, please come tell me what you think. Argh, soup. (He's not terribly fond of soup. I am, so he eats it.) Once again, the Rustic won out. He was not thrilled to find out that a bowl of gazpacho was coming out to the screened porch with his frittata for breakfast. But, by the end of the meal his bowl was empty. And, he'd gotten a couple of great servings of veggies!!
6 ripe tomatoes, cut into chunks
1/2 large cucumber, peeled, halved, seeded and cut into chunks
1 green bell pepper, cut into chunks
2 garlic cloves, smashed
1 cup water (see notes above)
1/3 c extra virgin olive oil
2 T sherry vinegar
hot sauce for serving
Combine all your ingredients in the food processor
process until the soup has reached a chunky consistency.
adapted from Food and Wine
Indianapolis Collects and Cooks Gazpacho
6 c tomato juice
2 T olive oil
2-3 T lemon juice
1 c beef broth
1/2 c finely minced onion
3 tomatoes, finely minced
2 c finely minced celery
1/2 green pepper, finely minced
2 cucumbers, seeded and finely minced
1 t salt
1/4 t pepper
dash of tabasco
Combine all ingredients and refrigerate at least two hours to allow the flavors to blend. I've found that instead of finely mincing everything by hand, the food processor does a great job.
from Indianapolis Collects and Cooks
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This post is part of a series featuring recipes from the FOOD and WINE archive. As a FOOD and WINE Blogger Correspondent, I was chosen to do four recipes a week from FOOD and WINE. I received a subscription to FOOD and WINE for my participation.