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Friday, September 05, 2008

Lazy Heirloom Tomato Gazpacho

It's hot and I don't want to heat up the house, cooking something on the stove. Time to make some gazpacho!

Lazy Heirloom Tomato Gazpacho with
Cucumber and Red Bell Pepper Garnish

heirloom tomato gazpacho garnished

Annie had given our neighbor some heirloom tomato plants to grow in his yard, and they are really looking good. He gave us some of his harvest the other day:

Our Neighbor's Homegrown Heirloom Tomatoes

homegrown heirloom tomatoes

Top row: Hugh's, Hugh's (same plant, but with a pink blush), Beauty King

Middle row: Aunt Gerties Gold, Speckled Roman

Bottom Row: Grandfather Ashlock, Chianti Rose, Chianti Rose

Here they are sliced in half:

Neighbor's Heirloom Tomatoes, Sliced

homegrown heirloom tomatoes sliced

These may look good, but when we took a thin slice of each and tasted them, we could tell there was something missing. The flavors of the tomato were there, but they lacked punch. The tomatoes were overwatered. They were plump but the flavors were diluted. Our neighbor was watering his tomatoes too much.

He was not following Tip #5 of Annies Top 5 Tomato Growing Tips: Cut back on the watering to concentrate flavor. Brad Gates of Wild Boar Farms said it best: Too much watering will lead to weak, wimpy plants and, "wimpy plants make wimpy tomatoes."

Gazpacho the lazy way

These tomatoes wouldn't be good sliced and eaten by themselves. But using them in a gazpacho would be the perfect application. My favorite recipe for gazpacho calls for soaking some bread with a can of tomato juice before pureeing it with the tomatoes and then straining the soup through a sieve. Additionally, I've done a Roasted Tomato, Onion and Pepper version of gazpacho.

But like I said, it's hot and I didn't want to heat up the kitchen. So roasting is out. And I also didn't want to go through the extra pain of sieving the soup then washing the sieve. So I decided to riff off the Epicurious gazpacho recipe by doing a "lazy version".

Lazy Heirloom Tomato Gazpacho

Ingredients

8 medium-sized heirloom tomatoes, chopped
2 slices white bread (with the crusts cut off)
3 small Armenian cucumbers, peeled and chopped
1 clove garlic, peeled
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp Smoked Spanish Paprika
1/8 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

Method

Step 1: Coarsely chop the tomatoes and cucumbers and put them in a large pot. Cut the crusts off the white bread slices and then cut the slices into 1 inch-sized pieces and add them to the pot. Add one peeled clove of garlic.

Step 2: Season with salt and paprika, then mix everything together. The salt will start pulling water out of the tomatoes while the bread soaks the water up.

Lazy Heirloom Tomato Gazpacho Ingredients, Chunked

heirloom tomato gazpacho chunks

Step 3: Using a stick blender, puree all the ingredients until the soup is very smooth.

Pureeing the Heirloom Tomato Gazpacho

heirloom tomato gazpacho buzzing

Step 4: Add in the red wine vinegar and the olive oil, then blend with the stick blender until everything is well incorporated.

Blending Olive Oil into the Heirloom Tomato Gazpacho

heirloom tomato gazpacho emulsifying

Step 5: Chill the soup in the fridge for an hour.

Step 6: Ladle the heirloom tomato gazpacho out into individual bowls and garnish. (I used finely diced cucumber and red bell peppers, but you can use other garnishes like diced avocado.)

Lazy Heirloom Tomato Gazpacho with
Cucumber and Red Bell Pepper Garnish

heirloom tomato gazpacho garnished 2

This was so easy, and so good! The only thing it lacked was a nice sangria to go along with it.

What do you like to eat your gazpacho with? Leave us a comment and tell us about it!

Aloha, Nate

This post was submitted to the "You Say Tomato, I Say Tomahto" contest on Houndstooth Gourmet.

Related Posts

Annie's Top 5 Tomato Growing Tips

Wild Boar Farms: These Aren't Your Dad's Tomatoes

21 Comments:

Pam said...

Beautiful. I still haven't made gazpacho and it's one of my favorite soups. I must make some soon! Thanks for the inspiration.

Fuji Mama said...

Mmmm, looks wonderful. I LOVE heirlooms.

Nate-n-Annie said...

@Pam - do make some - it's so easy and so tasty!

@Fuji Mama - thanks, and welcome to our site!

[eatingclub] vancouver || js said...

Looks splendid as usual. Great stuff! I would love me some heirloom tomatoes.

vanpham said...

Hi Annie, I couldn't leave any comment when I sent from my computer. Your site asked me to fill word verification into the space but I didn't see any letter at all. But I am using the other computer now and it works. I am so confused. Anyway, sorry about that.
This soup can be summed up in 2 words: easy and tasty, can't it? Sounds great! Like your ideas.

Nate-n-Annie said...

@JS - I'm sure you could find some good ones there!

@Van - I don't know what's up with the CAPTCHA. Thanks for the compliments! Do come again.

Robert said...

Hi Nate and Annie,
Yes, the pepper sauce came out fine. Rather smoky, quite hot, it worked out great. I been getting a lot of pepper and tomato action out of the garden. Tonight, I think fried rice with Portuguese sausage and fried hot peppers and onions on top. And some smoky pepper sauce.

Nate-n-Annie said...

@Robert - sounds good! Where do you get your Portuguese sausage from? And where can I get some of your smoky pepper sauce?

Jude said...

Will definitely remember tip #5 :) Lazy is way I cook so this recipe is just calling out my name.

Robert said...

I get the Portuguese sausage from the Tokyo Fish Market in Berkeley. The smokey pepper sauce is taking a back seat to beer making of late. But, if I get another batch going, I will let you know.

Nate-n-Annie said...

@Jude - your tastebuds will thank you for it! ;-)

Nate-n-Annie said...

@Robert - do tell, what is your best beer?

Natashya said...

That looks really good, and healthy too.
I have not made it yet, I don't think I have even tasted one yet but it is on the list.
Our tomatoes are suffering from too much rain and not enough hot sun this summer, but the chives are happy. Here in Canada they do thrive on neglect but I guess they like the cooler weather.
Cheers!

Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) said...

I love how you and your neighbor are partners in the growing of these wonderful tomatoes.

Robert said...

Why, the one in my hand. Actually, I just started, made a nice porter and a great oak-conditioned American red ale.

Nate-n-Annie said...

@Natashya - sorry to hear about the bad tomato weather. Not much you can do about it except try to keep them dry.

@Lydia - thanks for stopping by!

My neighbor just came over with more tomatoes from his yard. He said if we ever need any to just go over and pick 'em. Nice!

@robert - Can you do a barley wine?

FoodieTots said...

I made this last night (slight variations, had no cucumber so used a golden zucchini and bell pepper) and it was phenomenal. Topped it with some chili-garlic shrimp. Yum!

Nate-n-Annie said...

@FoodieTots - chili garlic shrimp huh? that's over the top!

maninas said...

I just love your pics, Nate'n'Annie! gorgeous!

Thanks for this great entry and introducing me to your blog! The round-up of eating with the seasons will be posted shortly!

Nate-n-Annie said...

@maninas - thanks for your compliment! I will be entering the EWTS...just have to find the right recipe that fits.

Sarah Bion said...

I just made this yesterday. It has been 3 years since I studied abroad in Spain and I have been aching for some of my SeƱora's gazpacho ever since. I've been really hesitant to try ANY recipes, knowing they won't be quite like hers, but this one is tasty and refreshing for these summer days.