Tuesday, February 28, 2017

MENU’s Recipe this week: Lynne's Gazpacho

We are huge fans of cold soups in summer, as they are a light, delicious and refreshing start to a dinner. They can be made in advance, are very healthy and people love them. This week, as all the vegetables in the recipe are at their seasonal best, Lynne made this the day before our dinner party to let the flavours meld together beautifully. You can remove the seeds, but we like the thicker texture they add and the lycopenes. She does not use raw onion in her version as we find it a bit indigestible, nor does she use the more common two slices of stale bread to thicken the soup, as this is a low carb version. They are optional and you are welcome to add them if you like. (Soak the bread in water till soft, squeeze out the water and liquidize it with the vegetables) You can substitute the teaspoon of sugar with Xylitol, but be cautious. One ingredient you do need is Spanish Sherry vinegar, but you can substitute herb or red wine vinegar. Serves 6
2 red peppers - 1 ½ kilos of ripe red tomatoes - 1 small cucumber - 2 large cloves of garlic - 2 T Spanish Sherry vinegar - 3 T fruity extra virgin olive oil - salt and freshly ground black pepper - 1 t sugar - garnish with chopped chives and fresh basil leaves
Put the peppers under a grill and char the skin till it is blackening all over. Put into a plastic bag, seal and allow to cool. This separates the skin from the peppers. Then remove all the charred skin using kitchen paper towels. Remove the stalks and the seeds, chop roughly and set aside. Using a small paring knife, cut a cross in the top of each of the tomatoes. Put them in a deep bowl and cover with boiling water. Leave for 4 to 5 minutes, then remove and put into iced water to cool quickly. When they are cool, remove and peel - the skin will come off easily. Core them, chop roughly and add to your liquidizer or put into a deep bowl and blitz them with your stick blender. Peel the cucumber, roughly chop and add to the tomatoes, with the peppers, and the garlic.  Add the olive oil, and one tablespoon of the sherry vinegar, salt and pepper. Continue to liquidise to emulsify the oil with the vegetables. This would be where you add the bread. Taste and adjust the seasoning by adding more vinegar and more seasoning. If the soup is too thick, add a little tomato juice or iced water. Only if necessary and it is too acidic, (depends on the tomatoes) add a spoonful of sugar. Put into the fridge overnight. Serve icy cool, topped with the chopped chives and one or two basil leaves. You can put bowls of finely chopped tomato, red pepper and cucumber on the table for people to add to the Gazpacho if you like more texture.

Reminder 1 T - 1 Tablespoon 1t - 1 teaspoon

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