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Pepper gives gazpacho a little bite for summer

It’s summertime and the only soup we think about is gazpacho. You can serve it as a starter or as meal.

In this recipe, the tomatoes are roasted, which deepens their flavor. But if you like, you can simply puree fresh tomatoes or even use canned.

Today’s recipe is best chilled to meld the flavors. But if you’re in a hurry, it’s just as good served once you make it.

Served cold, gazpacho is the perfect summer soup. (Patricia Beck/Detroit Free Press/MCT)

Served cold, gazpacho is the perfect summer soup. (Patricia Beck/Detroit Free Press/MCT)

CRAB AND CHILE PEPPER GAZPACHO

Serves 8

6 large tomatoes, cored, halved and seeded

1 thick, stale piece sourdough bread

1 medium sweet onion, cut in wedges

4 cloves garlic, peeled

1 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded, coarsely chopped

1 medium bell pepper (yellow, red or green) seeded, coarsely chopped

2 medium jalapeƱo chile peppers, seeded and cut up

2 cups favorite vegetable juice (regular, hot or spicy)

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 teaspoon sugar, or more as needed

Salt and black pepper to taste

2 cans (6 ounces each) canned crabmeat, drained, flaked and cartilage removed

Chopped fresh chives for garnish

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Place tomatoes (cut sides up), onion and garlic on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast 30 minutes or until tomato skins are charred. Peel off skins.

While tomatoes are roasting, prepare the other ingredients.

Soak the bread slice in water for several minutes and squeeze out excess liquid.

Place tomatoes and bread in food processor and process until smooth. Transfer to large serving bowl. Place onion, garlic, cucumber, sweet bell pepper and chile peppers in food processor. Cover; pulse with on/off turns until chopped to desired consistency.

Add processed vegetables, vegetable juice, lemon juice, olive oil, sugar, salt and black pepper to tomato mixture. Stir to combine. Cover and chill at least 8 hours or overnight.

Spoon gazpacho in bowls. Top with crabmeat. Sprinkle with chives.

PER SERVING: 140 calories (26 percent from fat), 4 grams fat (1 gram saturated fat), 17 grams carbohydrates, 10 grams protein, 321 milligrams sodium, 28 milligrams cholesterol, 3 grams fiber.

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