Saturday, January 21, 2012

Rich Tomato & Capsicum Gazpacho with Garlic Croutons

Some people really don't like the idea of cold soups, but once you try them, you'll love them! The important thing to remember is that seasoning for cold soups is different - your sensitivity to sourness and salt is reduced, so you need to be a bit more heavy handed with these ingredients. It's so refreshing on a summer evening to tuck into a refreshing chilled soup, particularly utilizing the delicious juicy red tomatoes that abound at the moment.

Ingredients (Serves 4 as entree)

  • 1kg ripe tomatoes
  • 1 large red capsicum
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • Canola oil spray
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/4 tsp chilli powder
  • 1/2 lebanese cucumber
  • 1 red onion
  •  3 scallions
  • 3 slices pane di casa or similar rustic heavy bread


To make the croutons, preheat oven to 160 degrees
Place the bread in the oven, turning occasionally, until dried out and crisp

Remove from the oven and run one of the garlic cloves over each side of the bread pieces.
Cut into 1cm cubes and return to oven for a further 10 minutes.

Set aside
Turn the oven up to 220 degrees
Cut the onion into quarters and place on a baking tray with the capiscum and tomatoes
Spray lightly with the canola oil spray and season with salt

Transfer to oven and bake until well charred (the onion may need to be removed earlier than the others)

Leave to cool then remove the skins and seeds from the capsicum and tomatoes

Transfer to a blender and blend well
Peel and seed the cucumber and dice into 1cm pieces

Add half of the cucumber, the spices, oil and vinegar to the blender and blend through.

Check seasoning and add salt or more vinegar if necessary
Finely slice the scallions into a julienne

Chill for 2 hours then serve with the croutons and remaining cucumber on the side and garnish with the scallions

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