This recipe was developed by Julie Robles, longtime Lucques cook, then sous chef, then chef de cuisine. It's one of those magical recipes in which you combine a few simple ingredients and end up with an unexpectedly dramatic result. It's a foolproof recipe, but, tasting it, you'd never know how easy it is to make. As long as you have a blender (it doesn't work as well in a food processor) and really great tomatoes, this refreshing gazpacho is a guaranteed crowd-pleaser.
Cold Soup Recipes
2 1/2 pounds ripe yellow tomatoes
3 Persian cucumbers or 1 hothouse cucumber
1/2 jalapeño, seeded and cut in half
4 cilantro sprigs, plus 12 cilantro leaves
2 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons diced red or orange sweet pepper
3 tablespoons diced red onion
18 small cherry tomatoes, cut in half
Super-good extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
How to Make It
Blanch the yellow tomatoes in boiling water for 30 seconds. Cool the tomatoes in a bowl of ice water for a few minutes. Use your fingers to slip off their skins. Remove the cores and coarsely chop the tomatoes, saving all of the juice. Reserve the ice water.
Seed and dice 3 tablespoons of unpeeled cucumber, as prettily as you can manage, for the garnish. Peel and coarsely chop the remaining cucumbers.
Place half of the yellow tomatoes, the coarsely chopped cucumber, jalapeño, cilantro sprigs, garlic, vinegar and olive oil in a blender with 1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt and some pepper. Process at the lowest speed until broken down. Turn the speed up to high and puree until the soup is completely smooth. If the soup is too thick, add a little of the reserved ice water. Strain the soup through a fine-mesh sieve, pressing out as much liquid as possible. Taste for seasoning. Repeat with the rest of the soup ingredients. Chill the soup in the refrigerator until it's very cold.
Toss the diced sweet pepper, onion and cucumber together in a small bowl. Pour the gazpacho into 6 chilled soup bowls and scatter the pepper mixture over the soup. Season the cherry tomatoes with salt and pepper and place 6 cherry tomato halves and 2 cilantro leaves at the center of each bowl. Finish each soup with a drizzle of super-good olive oil. To serve family-style, place the soup in a chilled tureen or pretty pitcher and garnish with the cherry tomato halves and cilantro; pass the diced vegetables on the side.
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