When I saw a recipe for Grilled Vegetable Gazpacho in the July issue of Cooking Light, I was intrigued. It’s still hot. I’m still looking for cold things to cook/eat. Sigh.
One thing I liked is that you can grill the vegetables in the morning, in relative cool, then blend them up, and by dinner, the flavors will have melded nicely in the fridge. The original recipe calls for red bell pepper and a whole jalapeno. It came out too bell peppery and too spicy for me (although my husband liked it), plus grilling and peeling peppers is a pain in my behind. I added three leeks that needed to be used.
I’ve made a couple of other tweaks and simplified the directions (which were strangely baroque), so it’s a very adapted recipe you see below. Also, my husband said, “It’s not gazpacho. The point of gazpacho is that it’s fresh, raw vegetables.” So, I give you …
Cold Grilled Vegetable Soup
3-4 large ripe tomatoes, cored and cut in half
1 onion, sliced crosswise into 1/4-inch thick slices
3 leeks, white and light green parts only, sliced longways and rinsed thoroughly
2 slices (1 inch thick each) French baguette
1/2 cup water or vegetable stock
Kosher salt, to taste
2 garlic clovesJuice of half a lemon
Plain Greek-style yogurt
1 avocado, cut into cubes
3 tablespoons fresh cilantro leaves
Preheat grill to medium-high heat. Brush both sides of tomatoes, onions, leeks and bread slices with olive oil. Place everything on grill. After a minute, turn bread. Remove after another minute. Remove tomatoes after another 8 minutes; turn onions and leeks. Remove onions and leeks after another 8 minutes.
In a blender, combine 2 tablespoons olive oil, bread, grilled vegetables, 1/2 cup water or stock, lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon salt (add more to taste) and garlic in a blender; process until smooth.
Serve cold topped with a dollop of yogurt, avocado cubes and fresh cilantro.
Note: You could also roast the vegetables in the oven at 400 degrees, but that would mean you had to turn on the oven.
Written by: Shannon Oelrich