Some Salads Want To Be Soups
Don't stop them!
IT’S MY BELIEF THAT EVERYTHING BEGINS AS SALAD but loses its way or gets distracted—often becoming something else equally delicious in the process. We have talked about salads that want to be sandwiches. But we rarely talk about salads that want to be soup.
Today, I have for you my most shining example of a salad that you put into the blender and turn into soup—what we all know as gazpacho. According to Encyclopedia Britannica, gazpacho may very well be considered a Spanish dish but it is in fact an ancient one mentioned in Greek and Roman literature. Plus: “Spanish cookbooks classify gazpacho as a salad.” So I rest my case. And if you object to my addition of bread here, you should also know that the word “gazpacho” is derived from the Arabic for “soaked bread.”
There’s nothing easier than gazpacho, especially if you own a decent blender. This is a soup that takes well to individual adjustments and persnicketiness, meaning you can very easily tailor the recipe, accentuating aspects you like and reducing those you feel meh about.
I grew up on a more complicated Americanized gazpacho, a chunkier one that I loved as a kid, because it was from another country! I ate a lot of it, and always with a big blob of sour cream on top.
But it was nowhere near as luxurious as my modern (and much more streamlined) version, into which I have sneaked an entire avocado (but not the peel or pit, of course) for extra richness. No blob of sour cream required. And the crazy color reminds me of the Mod Squad.
You simply toss all the ingredients into the blender and press the button. You press it once more to incorporate the olive oil and create a satisfying, velvety emulsion that is both spoonable and sippable. So, you could serve it super-ice-cold at a barbecue as an appetizer, out of shot glasses, or, as I have here, in a bowl drizzled with a tiny bit of olive oil and topped with cubed avocado. You can spice it up with a few more dots of tabasco on top. And it would be mad delicious with croutons.
But remember that what you are after are the cool, summery flavors of tomato, cucumber, and avocado shining through, so don’t get too carried away with spice—or salt for that matter.
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