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Jersey Summer Vegetable Gazpacho

By CRAIG THIEBAUD

August 7, 2014 at 6:00 AM

EDISON, NJ - Gazpacho screams summer time.  Made with the freshest vegetables available during the peak of Summer, this chilled soup packs a flavorful punch and is very, very healthy.  There are really no rules with Gazpacho.  You can keep it chunky or puree it until silky smooth.  I think the key to success with this dish is to use the very freshest ingredients you can as this is a raw vegetable soup.  For me, that means going to the farmer’s market and buying the best looking vegetables you can and going from there.  I used a number of vegetables from the Summit Farmer’s market and didn’t cook a thing.  I seeded the vegetables so that the texture would be very smooth.  However, if you don’t want to worry about that, it’s perfectly fine.  Simply keep it chunky.  I used homemade vegetable broth and I think that’s probably the best way to go but you can certainly buy broth.  I flavored this soup with tarragon, sherry vinegar, and olive oil and gave it a bit of heat with red pepper flakes.  Any herb will be great here though.  You can also use whatever vinegar you’d prefer or have on hand.  If you don’t want to use vinegar, add some acidity by squeezing citrus into the soup at the last minute.  So, let your taste buds and your imagination run wild.  You can’t go wrong with this during the peak of Summer vegetables.

Ingredients:

2 Cups vegetable broth, cooled

2 Ears corn

1 Large sweet onion such as Spanish or Walla Walla

1 Large red bell pepper

5 Fresh Jersey tomatoes, seeded

3 Green Jersey tomatoes, seeded

1 Golden Squash

1 Green Squash

1 Cucumber, seeded

4 Cloves fresh garlic

1 T dried tarragon, crushed

1 Shallot, finely chopped

3-4 Tablespoons Sherry vinegar, plus more for drizzling

¼ Cup olive oil, plus more for drizzling

Coarse Sea Salt and red pepper flake to taste

Preparations:

  • Remove corn kernels from the cob.  Slice onion thinly.  Chop bell pepper into small pieces.  Seed and chop both red and green tomatoes.  Coarsely chop the golden and green squash (reserving about a half an inch of each for garnish).  Seed and chop the cucumber. 
  • Add vegetables and the garlic cloves into blender along with around 1 Cup of broth.  Blend until smooth.  Depending on the size of your blender, you may have to do this in batches.  Continue blending until all vegetables are processed.
  • Add coarse sea salt, red pepper flake, olive oil, crushed and dried tarragon, and sherry vinegar. Blend again until everything becomes smooth.  If you need to add additional broth, add as needed until you achieve a thick, soup-like consistency.  The soup should also thicken as it chills.
  • Chill in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours.  Chilling it overnight would be even better. 

To serve:  Finely chop shallot.  Finely chop a bit of the reserved golden and green squash.  Place gazpacho in bowl and add shallot, and the two squashes as garnish.  Drizzle a bit of olive oil and sherry vinegar over the top.  Season with a touch of coarse sea salt.  Serve while cold or cool.