Yup!! You read that right!
As strange as it sounds, I strongly encourage you to give this chilled summer soup a try. It’s one of the tastiest soups I’ve ever made.
When we returned from a few days in the Puget Sound area, we were hit by a wicked heat wave at home. We had a friend coming over Sunday evening, and despite the air conditioned coolness of the house, eating a big meal did not seem like the way to go.
I had gone to the grocery store and picked up an assortment of veggies and fruit. There was a special on cherries, with about ten different varieties on display and for tasting. I filled up a couple of giant bags of Bing cherries, got all my other stuff and headed home.
As I was unpacking my grocery bags at home later, I decided to make a Spanish style supper. Years ago I came across an interesting Spanish cookbook, which turned out to be a great resource for a more modern take on Spanish cuisine.
Anyway, browsing through the pages, I noticed a recipe for this beet and cherry gazpacho. Luckily I had all the ingredients, and enough time before our friend arrived, to thoroughly chill this soup!
It only takes a few minutes to make, and won’t heat up your kitchen on a hot summer day. Fresh cherries are best, but canned or frozen will work too. The flavors of all these ingredients meld perfectly together, and the raw corn and cucumber garnish add another nice flavor dimension and crunch.
So please, don’t miss cherry season! Try this and let me know how you like it! We had plenty left over, and it tasted even better the next day! I went back to the store today to pick up enough cherries for another batch of this yummy soup, and to make a new batch of Cherry Bounce!
Here’s the recipe:
- 1 small pack of vacuum packed beets or 3 to 4 cooked ones, chopped
- 1 1/2 pounds ripe tomatoes ( I used cherry tomatoes )
- 2 1/2 cups pitted dark cherries
- 3 Anaheim peppers, seeded and cut into chunks
- 4 small Persian cucumbers or 1/2 English cucumber, cut into pieces
- 1/3 of a small red onion
- a couple of cloves of garlic
- 2 cups of French baguette, torn into chunks
- 1/2 cup good quality olive oil
- 4 to 6 tablespoons of sherry or red wine vinegar
- some cold water
- a little extra cucumber finely chopped for decoration
- an ear of corn, kernels cut off and reserved for decoration
- a little sea salt
- freshly ground black pepper
In a large bowl combine the chopped beets, the tomatoes, cherries, peppers,
cucumbers, onion and garlic. Sprinkle with a little salt, mix everything and let it rest for about 10 to 15 minutes.
Place the bread into a small separate bowl, cover with cold water and let it soak for a 5 to 10 minutes.
Drain the bread, squeeze out all the water and add it to the vegetables.
Working in batches, blend the veggies and olive oil in a blender until very smooth.
Pour the blended vegetables into a large bowl,
Add the vinegar, and about 1 to 1 1/2 cups of cold water.
Stir until everything is well combined and chill for at least two hours.
The gazpacho should be fairly thick, but not too thick.
Taste, adjust seasoning with salt and vinegar, and a few grinds of the pepper.
Put soup into individual serving bowls and garnish with the reserved cucumbers and the raw corn.
Serve and enjoy!