My family enjoys chilled soups, especially gazpacho, during the hotter months. Last time out, I decided to adapt my basic gazpacho recipe and smoke the vegetables a little instead of just processing them raw. The result was a hit with everyone. The smoked vegetables added a whole new dimension and depth to the flavor. I thought that I would post the recipe.
Smoked Vegetable Gazpacho
1. 3 lbs large tomatoes
2. 1 large seedless cucumber
3. 2 red bell peppers
4. 2 yellow bell peppers
5. 3 large jalapeno peppers
6. 2 large Vidalia onions
7. 8 cloves garlic
8. 2ï¿½ piece of ginger ï¿½ peeled and grated or finely minced
9. Juice of 3 limes
10. ï¿½ cup olive oil
11. ï¿½ cup red wine vinegar
12. ï¿½ cup mixed chopped herbs such as basil / rosemary / thyme
13. 2 cups spicy V-8 juice
14. Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
15. Thinly sliced scallions, diced Serrano ham, chopped hard boiled egg (optional)
1. Place tomatoes, cucumber, peppers, onions, and garlic (wrapped loosely in foil) in a pre-heated smoker at 250F with 2-3 ounces of apple wood. After 1 hour, remove tomatoes. After 2 hours, remove cucumber and peppers. After 2 ï¿½ hours, remove onions and garlic.
2. After vegetables cool, remove skin, seeds, and chop coarsely. Transfer vegetables, in batches, to a food processor, and puree. Reserve vegetables in a large stockpot.
3. Add ginger and lime juice to the pot and blend with a stick blender. Gradually add olive and continue blending. Blend in vinegar, herbs, and spicy V-8 juice.
4. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
5. Refrigerate at least 5 hours to become thoroughly chilled and to allow flavors to blend.
6. Ladle into soup bowls and serve. Sprinkle with scallions, ham, and egg, if using.
Note: The resulting consisency is a little chunky (which I prefer). If a thinner consistency is desired, add more V-8 juice, or a little water, and stir well before refrigerating.