Tuesday, May 22, 2012

recipes: gazpacho

my gazpacho

I feel like I've made a zillion variations of gazpacho over the years, but I recently put together a low calorie version I think I’ll stick with awhile. Here you go:
3 large celery sticks 
5 fairly large green onion stalks 
1 medium sweet onion 
½ large red pepper 
4 small garlic cloves 
3 tomatoes 
1 large cucumber, seeds scraped out 
1 dried ancho chile, stemmed and seeded 
3 cups tomato juice 
1 12oz can of original V-8 
1 large lemon 
1-2 tablespoons red wine vinegar 
2 tablespoons to ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil (optional) 
1 pound frozen uncooked shrimp (or pre-cooked) 
1 avocado 
salt & pepper to taste

First, boil some water and then pour it over and cover the dried ancho in a small bowl. Let soak for 20 minutes or so.

While the chile is soaking, prepare the shrimp. I used large, peeled and tailless frozen shrimp, thawing them under running cold water and steaming the lot in a large skillet with ½ cup water and ½ cup red wine vinegar with Old Bay seasoning brought to a boil. Once the shrimp turn pink and are cooked through, remove them from the pan and let cool. Chop them into thirds and set aside. (If you are using precooked shrimp, simply peel, chop and set aside.)

Roughly chop all the vegetables and place in a food processor or blender with the ancho, tomato juice, V-8, juice of the lemon, red wine vinegar and olive oil (if using). My blender is smaller, so I did the lot in two batches and mixed them with a whisk in a serving bowl. Salt and pepper to taste. Place in the refrigerator to chill for two or so hours before serving.

When you are ready to serve, ladle into a bowl, drizzle some olive oil in a spiral over the soup (optional) and spoon in the cut-up shrimp and chopped avocado.

A last note: the key to a making a gazpacho I like is adjusting the flavors as I go, which is why I'll error on the side of not putting in too much of one flavor at a time (even holding back on what a recipe calls for). If I taste it and feel like it's lacking something, I add it! It's much harder to adjust if one or two flavors are too overpowering. 

Anyway, this is one I like--healthy, low calorie and delicious! But feel free to adjust it to your tastes!

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