What Gazpacho Taught Me About My Tastebuds

green gazpacho

It was a fun week experimenting with my Farmer’s Market goodies. I enjoyed only having to throw everything into a blender and then TA-DA…dinner was served! All of my summer produce was showcased so nicely in its raw state. Nothing beats summer veggies at their freshest, and using them in a crisp, bright gazpacho served before the main dish is the perfect way to highlight their awesomeness. So get out to the Farmer’s Market and see what you can find. Use these recipes only as a starting point, and let whatever bounty you score be the star of your dish.

 

white gazpacho

 

Gazpacho week has taught me something I had long forgotten about my tastebuds…they don’t like raw onion. And guess what? Gazpacho is packed full of raw onion. Raw everything, right? Next time I make gazpacho I think I’m going to cheat a bit. I’m going to sauté whatever onion, shallot or leek the recipe calls for before I chunk it into the blender. Problem solved. If you’re not a fan of raw onion I encourage you to do the same when you play with these two recipes. You’ll be happier with the results and will still only have to do minimal cooking. However, if you’re not worried about that strong taste and resulting strong breath, give the recipe a whirl as is.

Happy cooking!

Green Goddess Gazpacho

green goddess gazpacho

3 spring onions
1 small clove garlic, peeled
1 green pepper, cut into a few chunks
2 cucumbers, cut into large chunks
1 avocado
5 tbsp fresh basil
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
fresh dill or dried dill weed, for garnish
Salt and pepper, to taste

  1. Throw everything in the blender and puree until smooth. Garnish with dill, a dollop of plain greek yogurt, and a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil. Serve.

 

Nutty White Gazpacho

nutty white gazpacho

1/2 medium head cauliflower, cut into 1-inch florets
2 slices of crustless white bread
1/4 cup pine nuts (1 1/2 ounces)
2 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
1 large shallot, coarsely chopped (optional to saute)
1 1/4 cups blanched slivered almonds
1/2 medium seedless cucumber, peeled and coarsely chopped, plus 1/4 cup finely diced cucumber
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
salt and white pepper, to taste

  1. In a large saucepan of boiling salted water, cook the cauliflower until tender, about 8 minutes. Drain, rinse under cold water until cool and drain well.
  2.  In a blender, combine 1 1/2 cups of cold water with the cooked cauliflower, bread, pine nuts, chopped garlic, sherry vinegar, chopped shallot, 1 cup of the slivered almonds and the coarsely chopped cucumber; blend until smooth. Add the olive oil and pulse just until incorporated. If necessary, add more water to thin the gazpacho. Season the soup with salt and pepper and refrigerate until chilled, about 1 hour.
  3.  Preheat the oven to 350°. Spread the remaining 1/4 cup of slivered almonds in a pie plate and toast for about 6 minutes, until fragrant and lightly golden. Ladle the gazpacho into bowls. Garnish the soup with the toasted almonds and the finely diced cucumber and serve.

 

Cauliflower and Celery Root Soup

Sometimes it’s really fun to start cooking with just one ingredient in mind and build from there. In keeping with preparing seasonal food, I had in my mind that I wanted to try a cauliflower soup. I recently made a Broccoli Cheese Soup that was to die for…so I wanted to mix it up a little bit and play with some new flavors.

Celery Root is another in-season veggie, and since the base of many soups is already onion, carrot and celery, I figured throwing celery root in instead would be an easy substitution. I also REALLY love leeks in soup. To tell the truth, I love leeks in anything. They are awesome used in place of a regular onion, as they have a more complex onion flavor. I really love their light green color too.

One of my favorite tools in the kitchen is The Flavor Bible. It’s a great way to learn how to pair different ingredients and I use it a lot to double check myself. I used it with this soup to make sure the cheese I wanted to add would work well with the other ingredients and sure enough, perfect match! I ended up going with cauliflower, celery root, leeks, truffle oil and gruyere cheese. Ahhhh-mazing! If you’re looking for something a little less intense, scratch the drizzle of truffle oil and add fresh dill instead. I plan to try that next!

cauliflowersoup

For the soup:

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium celery root, peeled, cut in 1 inch cubes
1 medium cauliflower, cut in 1 inch pieces
1 medium leek, quartered and chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 cups chicken stock
2 inch chunk of parmesan cheese
½ cup heavy cream
splash of white wine
salt and pepper, to taste
4 oz. shredded gruyere cheese, for garnish (optional)
white truffle oil, for drizzling

For the crispy kale:

1 bunch kale, tough stems removed and chopped into 2 inch chunks
1 tablespoon olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste

  1. Heat one tablespoon olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the leek and sauté until becoming translucent. Add celery root and cauliflower; sauté 3 minutes . Add garlic and sauté 1 minute.  Add splash of wine and simmer until it is mostly absorbed.
  2. Add chicken stock and parmesan cheese chunk. Bring to a boil.
  3. Cover and reduce heat to low to simmer until vegetables are very tender, about 30 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, toss kale with olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast in a 350 degree oven until crisp, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove when kale is crispy, you may have to watch for this.
  5. Carefully transfer in batches to a blender. Purée until smooth. Return soup to pot. Stir in cream, salt, pepper. Add more cream or stock if you need to until you reach desired consistency. Simmer 5 minutes. Taste to adjust seasoning. Serve in bowls with a drizzle of truffle oil and sprinkling of Gruyere. Garnish with a few crispy kale leaves. Serve remaining kale chips alongside soup.

***A variation to the truffle oil would be to stir in about a tablespoon of fresh chopped dill. Where the truffle oil will add richness, the dill would brighten up the soup.***