Sunday, August 23, 2015

Chilled Tomato Gazpacho with Cucumber and Feta

(I originally authored this post nearly a year ago now, back when we were homeless and living with my in-laws while deep in our house hunt. The recipe was an instant hit but alas, the photo I took before we devoured the soup was not. And so I had to wait a year for my next crop of tomatoes to come full circle so I could make the soup again and snag a better picture. I made this soup with my tomato bounty tonight. Yowser. It's just as good this year as last. If not even better. The ripe tomatoes produced such a natural sweetness in the soup that my husband asked if it was made out of watermelon after taking his first bite. So without further on for last year's post and the recipe):

I have already mentioned our Tomato Conundrum. When we moved in with my in-laws back in June, we brought more than just boxes of our belongings. We also brought my patio garden which we added to the plot that was already here. So between all of our tomato plants, fresh tomatoes are piling up almost as rapidly as my 5-year-olds unanswered questions.

This week's menu-planning was easy. Our September Food and Wine Magazine arrived and it's as if they'd peaked over the fence and spied our tomato problem. The issue was plum full of tomato recipes so I dog-eared every one and have great aspirations of catching up with the ripening fruit in the days ahead. I wasn't expecting to have a post-worthy success so early on but this soup struck gold and so I couldn't help but share.

I never would have expected raw pureed tomatoes to taste so amazing but when they are ripened on the vine in your very own garden, there is no comparison. If you don't have a Tomato Conundrum, I'm sure you can find some ripe beauties at the farmer's market that will do just as well. This recipe is fast and easy and I had it ready to serve in the time it took my husband to whip up a tower of gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches. Make sure you use large tomatoes - I used 6 medium-sized Romas and felt like 3-4 more would have better achieved the volume I was shooting for. The tomatoes are first chopped and then pureed in a blender with a drizzle of honey. The soup is topped with red onions and that are lightly caramelized and olives and then tossed with red wine vinegar for a slightly sweet yet tangy contrast to the smooth soup. If olives aren't your thing, leave them out. I have made the soup both ways and the results are lovely. Cucumbers add crunch and feta cheese provides a delicious finish to this late summer hit.

Chilled Tomato Gazpacho with Cucumber and Feta
(adapted from Food and Wine Magazine)

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 
1 small red onion, thinly sliced 
3/4 cup pitted Kalmata olives 
2 tablespoons oregano leaves or 1 tsp dried oregano
3 Tbsp red wine vinegar 
1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
Kosher salt 
1 small cucumber, peeled and chopped into small cubes 
1 tablespoon honey 
6 large tomatoes, chopped 
Freshly ground black pepper 
4 ounces cherry tomatoes, halved 
2 ounces feta cheese, crumbled (1/2 cup) 

In a medium saucepan, heat the olive oil. Add the onion, olives and oregano and cook over moderately low heat, stirring, until the onion is softened, about 7 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in vinegars. Season with salt. Cool to room temperature. 

Meanwhile, in a bowl, toss the cucumber with 1/2 tablespoon of the honey and season with salt.

In a blender, puree the chopped tomatoes with the remaining 1/2 tablespoon of honey and season generously with salt and pepper. 

Pour the soup into shallow bowls. Top with the onion-olive mixture, cherry tomatoes, cucumber and feta.

Serves 4

No comments:

Post a Comment

posted by kelsie