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Author Notes: My Smoky Gazpacho uses what I consider the basic, though quite flexible, standard list of ingredients: ripe tomatoes, cucumber, red pepper, and garlic– all chopped uniformly and blended til smooth with sherry vinegar and extra-virgin olive oil. However, this recipe deviates from the standard by blackening the red bell pepper as well as a moderately spicy red Fresno chile. Smoked paprika and smoked sea salt add a further subtle layer of mystery. I garnish this soup with a few slices of pan-fried Spanish chorizo. It just feels appropriate. —Sippity Sup (Greg Henry)
- 1 red bell pepper
- 1 Fresno chile
- 2 pounds ripe red tomatoes (roughly chopped, juices retained)
- 1/2 cucumber (peeled and seeded)
- 1/2 small red onion (peeled and roughly chopped)
- 2/3 cup roughly chopped smoked almonds (divided)
- 1 (1-inch thick) slice stale Italian bread (torn into 1-inch pieces)
- 3 tablespoons sherry vinegar
- 2 clove garlic (peeled and chopped)
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika (or more to taste)
- 1/4 teaspoon smoked sea salt (can substitute standard sea salt)
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil (plus more for drizzling)
- 18 slices Spanish dry-cured chorizo
- chopped flat leaf parsley (to taste)
- Roast the peppers: Char the bell pepper and Fresno chile by laying them, one at a time, directly over a gas flame, turning occasionally with tongs until blackened on all sides. Place them in a medium bowl, cover, set aside until cool; rub off the blackened skin, remove stems and seeds, then roughly chop.
- Prepare the gazpacho: Place roasted red bell pepper, roasted fresno chile, tomatoes and their juice, cucumber, onion, half the smoked almonds, bread, sherry vinegar, garlic, smoked paprika, smoked salt and pepper in a blender. Process until as smooth as you like, adding a splash of water if necessary to achieve the proper consistency. It should move freely in the blender, but not be watery (add one ingredient at a time and blend before adding another if all the ingredients don’t initially fit).
- Once all the ingredients are smooth, drizzle in the olive oil with the machine running until fully incorporated and emulsified.
- Taste and adjust the seasoning. Refrigerate at least 2 hours to allow the flavors to come together.
- To serve: Just before serving, Heat a large cast iron or non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chorizo slices and cook until they begin to curl at the edges and brown. Flip them over and cook until browned on the other side.
- Serve the chilled gazpacho in shallow soup bowl, garnished with chorizo slices, remaining chopped smoked almonds, parsley and a drizzle of very good olive oil.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Warm Weather Soup