The minute I walked into Whole Foods and saw this amazing display of the most beautiful heirloom tomatoes you have ever seen; I knew then and there exactly what I wanted to do. My mom (who is visiting me right now – yay!) was telling me about her friend Joanie’s gazpacho and how delicious it was. The best she’s ever had. Bingo…Miss Joanie’s gazpacho with heirloom tomatoes. YES!!!
Of course, I need to put my little spin on any recipe that crosses my path, so I made a little cilantro pesto with almonds to top off the chilled soup. It works. For sure.
As a bonus, it’s hatch chile season in New Mexico. Since they are right next door and all, you can find them easily at any local grocery store here in Houston. Sometimes, they actually roast them outside of the stores which is pretty cool. When I was at the Santa Fe farmers market there was a vender doing it. Looks like this:
For my gazpacho, I used fresh mild hatch chiles. They taste a lot like green pepper with a little extra kick of flavor. I think roasted chiles would be even better. Will try that next time I make a batch.
Gazpacho recipes are great because they lend themselves well to improvisation. Throw in whatever you have at home. Add more peppers or cucumbers or tomatoes, if that is what you like. Have fun and revel in the end of summer bounty.
Miss Joanie’s Heirloom Tomato Gazpacho
2 1/2 cups tomato or vegetable juice (I used organic brand from Whole Foods)
2 1/2 cups heirloom tomatoes, finely chopped (use a variety, it looks pretty)
1/2 cup celery, finely chopped
1 1/2 cups cucumber, finely chopped, seeds removed
1/2 cup red pepper, finely chopped
1/2 cup yellow pepper, finely chopped
1 Hatch chile, finely chopped
1/2 red onion, finely chopped
2 Tbsp white wine vinegar
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 large clove garlic, minced
2 Tbsp cilantro, finely chopped
1 tsp Tabasco sauce
Salt and pepper to taste
Combine all ingredients in a large glass bowl. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate overnight. Top with cilantro pesto and chopped avocado. Serve cold.
1 cup cilantro leaves
1/4 cup sliced almonds
1 clove garlic
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
Place cilantro, almonds and garlic in food processor. Process until cilantro is finely chopped. Slowly add olive oil through the tube while the food processor is running. Mix for just a little bit until blended. Taste and add salt and pepper.