I’m a huge fan of the local paper’s food section. The Minneapolis Star Tribune has won awards for its weekly Taste section and I rely on it for updates on the local food scene as well as the occasional recipe I want to try. Even when out of town, I ask friends or family to pick me up a copy of the Thursday Taste as I’m obsessive enough that I don’t want to miss an issue. (Yes, I could get it all online as well; but, it’s just not the same. I like my hard copy reads.)
With a counter-top full of garden tomatoes (some ours, some gifts from friends), a gazpacho recipe found in a recent Taste was a must-make. Besides the tomatoes, the recipe also contained garlic (which I doubled), onion (though I used red instead of sweet), bell pepper, and cucumber–all veggies I had on hand. The soup was pureed, which also appealed as I love to use my immersion blender. The article, by food writer Meredith Deeds, hailed the recipe as one she uses to convince her kids to eat veggies. I was not so successful as neither girl (ages 10 and 6) had any interest in eating pureed tomatoes, even after their obligatory taste. And while my husband had a bowl, he wasn’t a big fan.
But I loved it. A quick garnish of a small pile of chilled smoked salmon and a sprinkle of roasted kale nudged my bowl of red into the “this is heaven” category. With all of the raw veggies in my bowl (as well as a touch of olive oil, which make the antioxidants in the tomatoes more easily absorbed), it couldn’t be any more good-for-you. I hope to eventually get my family on board as well, but even if no, I’ll continue to make this gorgeous soup whenever I have an abundance of fresh summer veggies. It’s a keeper.
Lovely Summer Gazpacho
Adapted from a recipe by Meredith Deeds, veteran cookbook author who co-wrote 300 Sensational Soups.
- 1 1/2 pounds ripe red tomatoes, chopped
- 1 small cucumber, peeled, seeded, and chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped
- 1/2 red onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- 8 ounces smoked salmon, flaked
In large bowl, combine tomatoes, cucumber, bell pepper, onion and garlic, vinegar and oil. Puree with immersion blender. (Or combine and puree in traditional blender.) Refrigerate, covered, until chilled. Season with salt and pepper. Divide evenly among serving bowls. Top each serving with salmon. Makes 4 servings.