GUYS ITS FINALLY BASEBALL SEASON!
And I literally couldn’t care less. Well, I couldn’t have cared less until I moved to St. Louis. You basically have to root for the Cardinals in order to be socially accepted into any circle. Granted my circle might just be me and my son, however, I’m pretty sure he would write me off as well if I at least didn’t attempt to seem remotely interested. Did I mention he’s not even two?
It’s that serious.
What I am MOST excited for, is that baseball season = start of excellent weather. But unfortunately….. April has been off to a rocky start and has obviously been skipping it’s antidepressants. The past week has been aggressively bi-polar.
So with that being said….this weather got me feeling so mixed up I decided to take part in a dish that can be just as confusing, Gazpacho.
Confusion, You ask? … well I have always been a tad bit skeptical over serving tomato soup purposely chilled.
But then as soon as I embraced the roasted + raw quality of all the vegetables pulsed, spiced and chilled any and all skepticism had vanished.
This soup is basically a virgin bloody mary on crack. Hell, I mean honestly? Throw in a lil vodka and this could easily make for the most nutritiously boozy meal ever. Where there is a will there is a way. And the will of the way always leads to alcohol.
However, going back to my roots, this soup just didn’t feel right without it’s warmer counterpart, grilled cheese. Or in this case, melted aged cheddar toast with a little goat cheese and kalamata olive spread. Homegirl can never miss out on a carbed opprotunity.
Roasted tomatoes are obviously optional, but offer a really nice roasted undertone to this usually 100 percent raw dish. So I suggest roasting!
Most recipes call for scooping out the seeds of all the vegetables, however I didn’t find this to be necessary. You can easily strain the soup after it has been blended through a fine mesh strainer to create a smoother texture. Especially once the soup is chilled, it tends to thicken up a lot (so any texture will just become magnified once it is cold). I have a Vita-mix and so no straining was necessary (even when I had left the seeds in, as you can see in my pictures). I also don’t mind the texture that the seeds bring to the soup.
I wanted the spice factor to be more controllable so instead of blending a jalapeño, I opted for the addition of a little cayenne. But definitely add some jalapeño if you want to up the heat.
You can make this soup easily a day ahead, in fact the flavor only gets better after a day of chilling.
- 3 lb vine tomatoes
- 1 cucumber, peeled and chopped
- 1 red pepper, chopped
- ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
- ½ lime, juiced
- ¼ cup olive oil
- ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
- salt and pepper to taste
- fresh basil leaves
- Bread, sliced
- Aged Cheese (like cheddar)
- Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil and place tomatoes on baking sheet.
- lightly drizzle with olive oil and then place in oven for 25-35 minutes, until skin on tomato starts peeling back/becomes wrinkly.
- Remove tomatoes from oven, wait for them to cool until you can handle and then peel off skin (should be very easy).
- In a high speed blender add your peeled & roasted tomatoes, cucumber, red pepper and ¼ cup olive oil.
- Blend until just smooth.
- Add your cayenne pepper, lime juice & balsamic. Blend for another 20 seconds.
- Salt & Pepper to taste.
- Next using a fine mesh strainer (optional) strain out any seeds/remaining chunks (if any) that are left behind and then place smooth soup in fridge for about an hour to chill.
- Serve with basil leaves, and toasted cheddar cheese bread, olive spread, and goat cheese (optional).