STRAWBERRY TOMATO GAZPACHO
While in Barcelona this summer, my family took a cooking class at Barcelona Cooking. We made gazpacho de fresas, a version of the chilled Strawberry Tomato Gazpacho below. Until visiting Spain, I had only known chunky versions of this dish. Gazpacho originated in the Andulsian region of Spain and refers today to any uncooked, chilled soup made with a tomato and bread base. This light and healthy soup is best in early summer when local strawberries are abundant and at their peak.
Nota bene: This soup may be made in a Vitamix. Simply put all ingredients (except the goat cheese) in at once and whir on a low setting until smooth. Larger tomatoes, so long as in season, may be used but must be seeded first.
2 slices white bread, crusts removed
2.5 cups strawberries, hulled
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2.5 cups tiny tomatoes
8 ounces cold water
2 teaspoons sherry vinegar
1 teaspoon honey
8 large mint leaves
Sea salt & freshly ground black pepper
Soft goat cheese (optional)
Edible flowers (optional)
1. Soak the bread slices in cold water with 2 teaspoons vinegar for 5 minutes.
2. Rinse the strawberries and pat them dry. Slice them into halves. Wash and chop the tomatoes. In a bowl, combine the strawberries, tomatoes and mint and mix with an immersion blender for two minutes.
3. Squeeze the excess liquid from the soaking bread and add to the strawberry mixture. Continue blending while adding one cup of the water.
4. Slowly add the olive oil to make an emulsion. Season with sea salt and pepper to taste. Cover and chill in the refrigerator.
5. Just before serving, make a small dice of several strawberries and a few mint leaves. Reserve.
6. Divide the soup into serving bowls. Add a small dollop of goat cheese to the center and carefully top with a small amount of the diced strawberries and mint, or edible flowers. Serve immediately.