A good grilled cheese with a good bowl of tomato soup can cure almost anything, I’m sure of it. I say almost, because though the combo is mighty, it cannot stop a summer heat wave. A bowl of hot soup is the last thing I need on a day when the humidity nearly takes over my lucidity, so this summer I decided to tweak a popular gazpacho recipe.
Like many others this summer I tried Julia Moskin’s Best Gazpacho recipe. Don’t get me wrong, it is a great recipe. However, my regular weeknight meal needs combined with the cohabitation of a soup-hater (I know, I know) require a smaller batch of the summery tomato soup. Tomatoes and cucumber still join the party, but I swap out the onion for shallot, sherry vinegar for white wine vin, and the pepper for a few radishes. I’m fortunate that all of these ingredients have been available at the farmer’s market lately, and I’m usually looking for a good way to use up those last few radishes or an adorably small cucumber.
The nice part about these smaller batch recipes is that they can be made entirely with a hand blender. Working in batches, I used my hand blender and the cup it came with to liquify all of the wonderful summer vegetables. I wanted some texture to remain, so I strained about two-thirds of the soup through a fine mesh strainer before adding the olive oil into the party.
Though this recipe is simple, it does require some planning ahead. Make the gazpacho the night before you plan to eat it — this allows the soup to become super cold and for the flavors to get to know each other overnight. This can be served alongside toasted bread, or really kick it up and spread a thick layer of seasoned ricotta onto it.
- 2 medium-size tomatoes cored and cut into large pieces (a little less than 1 lb)
- 1 small cucumber peeled and large diced
- 1 small shallot peeled and quartered
- 3-4 radishes ends trimmed and halved
- 2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
- 3 tablespoons olive oil plus more for serving
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Combine the tomatoes, cucumber, shallot, radishes, and vinegar in a large measuring cup or deep bowl, then use a hand blender to puree until smooth. (This can also be done in a regular blender if you’d like!)
- Use a fine-mesh strainer to remove as many of the solids as you like to reach your desired consistency. (I strained about ⅔ of the mixture.)
- Return the soon-to-be gazpacho to the blender or mixing bowl, then add the olive oil. Blend until the olive oil emulsifies and the soup turns into a pretty orange-red.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste, then refrigerate the gazpacho for 4-6 hours, or overnight if possible. Drizzle with olive oil just before serving.