Saturday, August 25, 2012

Three-Tomato Gazpacho with Chipotle Crème

There are 13 recipes for Cold Soups in this book, and four of them are types of gazpacho. The "Three-Tomato Gazpacho with Chipotle Crème" (page 180) looked especially enticing (I love anything with chipotle) so I decided to try that one first. The three different tomatoes include fresh, canned, and sun-dried, each providing a slightly different characteristic. The sun-dried and canned tomatoes are puréed in a blender along with onion, bell pepper, cucumber and garlic. To this mixture is added the fresh tomatoes, more cucumber and tomato juice (I used Spicy V8). Because of all the fresh vegetables in the purée, the end result is very thick and creamy, almost like a smoothie. After the soup has been thoroughly chilled, it is topped off with the best part - the Chipotle Crème (along with minced green onions). The Chipotle Crème is a mixture of vegan sour cream and canned chipotle chili in adobo sauce. The recipe instructions say to combine olive oil, chipotle chili and sour cream in a blender until well combined, but I found it easier to bypass the blender for such a small amount of crème (which would be hard to scrape out) and just blend some of the adobo sauce into the sour cream in a small bowl using a spoon. I didn't include the oil at all, and I used homemade, oil-free, tofu sour cream, thereby omitting any added oil. The recipe does call for oil-packed sundried tomatoes, however, but you can buy the dried variety and rehydrate them in hot water, or rinse off the oil-packed variety and wipe dry with a paper towel. Here's a trick I've learned along the way: If you find the flavor of raw onion doesn't agree with you, slice the onion and heat it briefly in very hot water or the microwave before using in a recipe. This produces a milder onion taste, and since this recipe calls for one entire raw onion, that is what I did. The recipe makes about 12 cups of soup, so both my husband and I were able to enjoy it over three separate meals - and enjoy it we did!

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