It’s too hot to cook. Crisp summer salads and cool soups are a satisfying way to eat fresh and get plenty of veggies into you belly. This recipe features the tomatoes and cucumbers I nabbed from the Farmer’s market this weekend. I also used peppers and basil from my garden. The shrimp adds protein to the refreshing soup, making it more filling for lunch or as a light dinner.
It is my understanding that authentic Spanish gazpacho is blended with softened bread, so that it is more soup-like and less like a chunky salsa. Though I have yet to visit Spain, I have attempted to honor the tradition. Feel free to adjust the thickness and spice of the soup with more tomato juice and spice. I like it spicy, as you may have begun to notice, but I know it’s not for everyone. Keep cool and enjoy the beautiful in-season summer veggies.
Peace & Java
Prep Time: 30 min Cook Time: 15 min Difficulty: Easy Peasy
Servings: 8 Serving Size: 1 cup Yield: about 2 quarts. SP: 3
2 slices thick french or Italian bread
2 limes, juiced
1 cup spicy tomato juice
2 pounds tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
12 oz medium shrimp (41-50), peeled and deveined
1 small cucumber, seeded and chopped, about 1 1/2 cups divided
1 small red bell pepper, roasted, seeded and chopped
1/2 cup red onion, chopped
1 small jalapeno, roasted, seeded and minced
1-2 small banana or havasu peppers, roasted, seeded and minced
3.4 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil 1/4 cup tablespoons fresh basil leaves, chiffonade
2 tablespoons balsamic or sherry vinegar
2 teaspoons Shrimp & Crab Boil
2 teaspoons Old Bay seasoning
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin, toasted
GARNISHES (optional): avocado, radish, cucumber, red onion
1. Roast the peppers over a medium flame on the stove top, turning frequently to char all sides of the peppers. The peppers may also be roasted on a sheet pan in a 425 degree oven for 30-35 minutes, turning halfway through. Once the peppers have charred, place them in a resealable plastic bag until cooled. Once cool, remove the skins from the peppers, seed and chop.
2. Soak the bread in a small bowl of water to soften, about 15 minutes. Squeeze the bread into a ball to remove the excess water and set aside.
3. Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil. Make an X with a paring knife on the bottom of the tomatoes. Drop the tomatoes into the boiling water for 10-15 seconds, remove and transfer to an ice bath to cool. Once cool, peel, core and seed the tomatoes.
4. Fill a medium pot with water and bring to a boil. Season the water with the juice of 1 lime and the shrimp and crab boil. Boil the shrimp for 2 minutes. Remove shrimp and set aside to cool. Once cool, cut the shrimp in 2-3 bite size pieces, season with the Old bay and set aside.
5. Add the chopped tomatoes, cucumbers, roasted peppers, red onion, garlic, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, cumin, salt and pepper to a large bowl. Stir mixture and adjust seasoning as needed.
6. Tear the softened bread into chunks and place in a food processor or blender. Add about 3/4 of the tomato mixture to the bread and puree.
7. Return the pureed mixture to the bowl. Add the tomato juice and seasoned shrimp. Stir and adjust seasoning. Cover and chill for 2 hours up to overnight.
8. Serve with chiffonade basil, garnishes of your choice and crusty bread.
NOTES, TIPS & TRICKS: To keep this dish vegetarian, omit the shrimp.
Add more or less tomato juice depending on the preferred consistency for your soup.
Perfect Pairing: Peach Tea Sangria!