Saturday, August 18, 2012

"Italian" Gazpacho

I know it has been a while since my last post, and this post may not be extremely interesting visually, but I really hope that you do try the recipe. I have some catching up to do with savory posts. The time has come when there are a great variety of vegetables at the farmer's market. I am sure to take advantage, it has just been a busy time lately!

I must confess that I really enjoy watching the little Yahoo cooking videos called Chow Ciao with Fabio Vivani. His accent and his humor are just great. I finally decided I needed to try one of his recipes. Hence, Gazpacho "with an Italian twist" :)

I believe the two ingredients that make this chilled soup most untraditional in terms of autentic Spanish gazpacho are the basil and the canned plum tomatoes. But supprisingly they make a big difference in flavor. The soup is truely a perfect summer soup, blending a melody of vegetables and herbs that simply taste of summer- sun, flowers, and Italian villas if you will :) And the jalapeno adds just the right amount of heat.

"Italian" Gazpacho
Makes about 4 servings

1 quart tomato juice
2 red bell peppers
1 green jalapeno
1 large English or Armenian cucumber
20 leaves of fresh basil
pinch salt
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
6 canned plum tomatoes
additional basil leaves or parsley for garnish
extra virgin olive oil for drizzling
salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste

1. Pour tomato juice into a jar blender. Slice 1 red bell pepper, the entire jalapeno, and half of the cucumber, and add to the blender. Add basil leaves, a pinch of salt, and balsamic vinegar.
2. Slice 3 of the canned tomatoes, and add to the blender. Puree until no chunks remain.
3. Transfer soup to a bowl and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving.
4. To serve, ladle soup into bowls. Dice the remaining red bell pepper, cucumber, and plum tomatoes. Chop basil for garnish.
5. Generously garnish each bowl with diced tomatoes, cucumber, basil, and red peppers. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.

Recipe very slightly adapted from Fabio Vivani's Chow Ciao

It is as simple as that! So enjoy, and as Fabio says "BOOM!" 

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