Strawberry Peach Gazpacho.

So here’s the deal.

I’m a pretty rational person.

Wait.

Everyone in the world who knows me just dropped their jaw to the floor. And they are laughing hysterically. And crying. And rolling their eyes. All at once. Geez, these people are talented.

Maybe rational is not the right word? Definitely not.

Normal? No. That doesn’t work either. Traditional? That sort of works. To a point.

Whatever. You’ll get my drift. What I’m trying to say is that soup = hot. It’s just a thing. Soup is hot. Soup is not cold. I’m sorry world, but a chilled soup is not a real soup. It just can’t be.

And while I have had a taste or two of some pretty decent gazpacho, do you seriously think I could whole-heartedly enjoy a bowl of severely PUREED VEGETABLES?

Right. That’s what I thought.

The only time that is acceptable is when it comes accompanied by a large salt-rimmed glass of tequila plus citrus and a wicker basket of authentically thin and freshly fried blue corn chips piled with coarse salt.

Nowwwww we’re talking.

So in order to do this thing, I have to add fruit. I try to make it as non-vegetably as I can, then I eat it with about four toasted crostinis blanketed with oozing brie. Or something like that.

You know I’m all about trashing up the classics, and this one – topped with creamy avocado chunks, lots of salt, fresh peaches and a bunch of cilantro (don’t be a hater) – is one of my current favorites. I don’t think I can call it soup… but we’ll see how this relationship progresses.


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Strawberry Peach Gazpacho

Yield: serves 6-8 as a starter

Ingredients:

1 large seedless cucumber, chopped
10-12 large strawberries, chopped
2 ripe peaches, peeled and chopped
1/2 red onion, chopped
1/2 jalapeno, seeded and chopped
4 medium tomatoes, somewhat seeded (squeeze the seeds out) and chopped
4 cups tomato juice
1/4 cup dry sherry
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon worcestershire sauce
1 avocado, chopped
fresh cilantro for topping
salt + pepper to taste

Directions:

Once the cucumbers, strawberries, peaches, tomatoes, onions and jalapeno are roughly chopped, add each vegetable/fruit one at a time to the bowl of a food processor and pulse 3-4 times to chop a bit more. Remove and add each to one large bowl. Once the cucumbers, strawberries, peaches, tomatoes, onions and peppers are in the bowl, mix thoroughly with a spoon, then place half of the mixture back into the food processor, blending until smooth. Mix the puree with the chopped fruit/veg, then add in the tomato sauce, sherry, olive oil and worcestershire sauce. Taste, then season with salt and pepper. If possible, let sit for a few hours (refrigerated) before serving.

When ready to serve, garnish with additional peach cubes, chopped avocado, cilantro and a sprinkling of salt.

[adapted from traverse magazine]

Messy is my middle name.