Not only is it hot hot hot around here but I’m on a soft food diet thanks to dental surgery, so it’s a great time for gazpacho! I’ve been very happy with this roasted bell pepper gazpacho recipe. Though not traditional, roasting the veggies first always adds a lot of flavor to soup and gazpacho is no exception.
This is the first year I’ve gotten around to roasting my own bell peppers: it’s really not that hard. I started with Alan Roettinger’s Peperonata from Extraordinary Vegan and went from there. Next frontier for the bell peppers is to get my husband grilling them, especially on these hot days where I don’t want to fire up the oven.
This recipe owes a debt to Susan Bradley of Luna Cafe. A few weeks ago she shared on Facebook her Roasted Red Bell Pepper Gazpacho and got me experimenting. She adds interesting non-traditional ingredients like orange juice and serrano peppers. I tried the serranos in a couple of batches and could see the appeal but my husband and I decided we prefer our gazpacho without it (the boys remain in favor). Perhaps I’ll try again with something less assertive like a jalapeno, but it’s plenty flavorful and kicky with lemon, red wine vinegar, and the other spices.
I thought it would be pretty to make the soup with only yellow and orange bell peppers, and indeed it turned out a very nice yellow-orange. The olive oil itself makes the soup orangey, so even with red bell peppers it will turn out a little orange. A tomato chopped and added in at the end gives variety to the texture, and Susan’s suggested yellow tomato looks nicest with the color of this soup (orange and red is a really difficult color combination). I like my gazpacho room temperature so I serve it as soon as it’s prepared.
Soups and smoothies have featured prominently in my diet for the last couple of weeks. I might share a carrot, dill, and kefir soup that I created if I get around to it. I haven’t been allowed to have nuts, seeds, or seeded fruits and I hyperventilated a little about missing the height of raspberry and strawberry season. I’m back to the dentist tomorrow, I hope he clears me to eat them again.
- 6 yellow or orange bell peppers
- 10 oz. red onion (1 medium)
- 1# heirloom tomato (1 large or 2 medium)
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled
- ¾ cup or more of cool water
- 2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
- 3 Tbsp. lemon juice (from one medium to large lemon)
- 2 tsp. smoked paprika (Pimenton de la Vera)
- several grinds black pepper
- 8 oz. yellow heirloom tomato, chopped into small pieces
- several stalks of scallion, chopped
- handful cilantro, chopped
- Preheat broiler.
- Cut bell peppers in half, remove stems, pith and seeds.
- Cut red onion into relatively thick rings, separate the rings.
- Cut tomato into relatively thick rings.
- Cover three baking sheets with parchment paper (or aluminum foil).
- Place peppers on one baking sheet in a single layer, cut side down, the red onions on another baking sheet, and the tomatoes on the last one.
- Broil peppers for 10-15 minutes until peppers are partially but not entirely blackened.
- Remove peppers from oven and cool.
- Broil red onions for about 7 minutes until well softened and partially dehydrated.
- Broil tomatoes for about 7 minutes until softened and a little dried.
- Once the vegetables are cool, peel the browned areas of skin from the peppers. Remove any blackened onions or blackened bits from the tomatoes.
- Blend the broiled, peeled vegetables in a Vitamix or other blender.
- Add water until you've reached your desired consistency of soup.
- Add the remaining soup ingredients (including the garlic) and blend again.
- Taste, adjust spices.
- Ladle soup into bowls.
- Chop yellow tomato, scallions, and cilantro. Top soup with garnishes, serve.