June 14, 2011, 10:47 pm
Filed under: Appetizers, Food and Recipes, Main Dishes, Side Dishes | Tags: , ,

The first time I had gazpacho was in Washington, D.C. at Charlie Palmer’s Steakhouse. Until this time, gazpacho had never sounded so appetizing to me. Traditionally served cold, it’s not something that runs to the top of my mind for a main dish. I didn’t relish the thought of cold soup. Until the chef at this restaurant sent out samples to each table. Not served ice cold, but more at a chilled room temperature, this soup embodied summer, full of spice, fresh vegetal flavor, and loaded with cilantro, which is definitely my favorite herb to cook with.

I have not since forgotten that culinary experience. We tried so many new things to eat while overlooking the sunset and the capitol. It was a special moment.

I bought my husband a series of cookbooks for our anniversary, one of them being a new Weber grill cookbook on charcoal grilling. Being the serious grill finatics that we are, we practically own each Weber grill cookbook out there. In this particular cookbook, there it sat, a recipe for a grilled and chilled gazpacho. We are just now getting around to making it a few weeks later, but it was so good and refreshing that I have a feeling we will be making it all summer.

Grilled and Chilled Gazpacho
Slightly adapted from Weber Grill’s Charcoal Grilling cookbook

3 red bell peppers
6 large plum tomatoes
2 medium red onions
1/4 cup fresh basil
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
Tabasco sauce
2-4 cups low sodium tomato juice
English cucumber, diced
Olive oil

1. Core tomatoes and sliced in half lengthwise. Remove bell pepper seeds, cutting the bell pepper into about 4 chunks each, saving one slice for garnish. Slice onion into 1/2 inch slices.

2. Brush peppers, onion slices, and tomatoes with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill over direct heat for 5 minutes, flipping once, with lid closed as much as possible until all veggies are charred and soft. Remove to a heat proof bowl to cool.

3. In a blender, combine grilled vegetables and tomato juice. Blend until veggies are still slightly chunky. Add basil, a couple dashes of tabasco, amd vinegar. Blend again. Add more tomato juice if not yet soup consistency, or until the consistency you desire is achieved. Taste, adjust any seasonings as needed with salt/pepper/tabasco/vinegar. Place blender carafe into the fridge and chill as long as you have before dinner. Its even good slightly warm.

4. When you are ready to eat, pour soup into a bowl. Garnish with a good amount of diced cucumber, diced fresh red bell pepper, and a small drizzle of olive oil.


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