One of the biggest treats of my quiet(er) week was being able to get back in the kitchen and make soup. The Saturday Soup was suffering a bit not from the temperatures but more from neglect due to my schedule. No matter what the weather, I’m a soup fan and summer proves to be no obstacle for me. There’s very little that’s easier and more soothing on a hot Southern summer day than a few spoonfuls of chilled soup. I love having a bit in a small shot glass or tiny bowl with warm weather meals.
While I’ve made gazpacho tons of times, I’ve made a couple tweaks to this week’s recipe. Roasting the tomatoes before making the soup adds a sweetness and a warmth & depth of flavor that’s quite nice. To garnish, I am using a finishing touch I learned while on my Marsala recipe contest tour. Chef Daniel Andre of The Buckhead Club served us an amusé of cool gazpacho topped with a smidge of blue cheese. It was so unusual but the gaminess of the cheese works with the sweetness of the soup. A smattering of fresh herbs on top and it’s a simple, cooling soup course or light summer meal – having a bit of toasty bread here wouldn’t hurt.
Roasted Tomato Gazpacho with Blue Cheese – serves 4 as a soup course or light entree
– Preheat oven to 425F. Cut the Roma tomatoes in half, core and de-seed. Toss with enough olive oil to coat and lay the tomato halves in a single layer in a baking pan or on a baking sheet. Roast the tomatoes until the skin has started to wrinkle and they wilt a bit – somewhere in the 20-25 minute range. Remove from oven and allow to cool.
– Once the tomatoes are cool, put them in the blender or large capacity food processor – if you want some chunks in your gazpacho, leave out a few and just chop them up and stir in at the end. Add all of the remaining ingredients (except the cheese and herbs for garnish) and puree until vegetables are finely chopped. Refrigerate until chilled. When ready to serve, top each portion with some of the crumbled blue cheese and a sprinkle of fresh chopped herbs. This will keep stored in a well sealed container in the fridge for 3-4 days.
I’ve made a bunch of chilled soups on this blog – here are some links to a few others: