Why yes, this is my second tomato recipe in a week. Yes, it is. The flood of tomato goodness just keeps rolling in. Let me assure you that having too many tomatoes is a problem I have never, ever faced in my previous years of gardening in Colorado. It’s a pretty great problem, and this chilled soup is one of many solutions (and thanks to my Facebook friends for providing me with other great ways to use the excess). Many tomato gazpachos are thickened with bread, but this version is blended with Marcona almonds, which thicken it up beautifully and add a distinctive flavor. Marconas are a Spanish variety that are a little more rounded than typical almonds, and they are a bit sweeter and softer in texture. The softer texture helps them blend smoothly into this soup. You can find them oil-roasted, but I used a dry roasted, salted version here. Either will work.
I used a blend of red and yellow heirlooms (Black Krim, Pineapple, and Purple Cherokees), which resulted in a soup that is more orange than red. If you want a deeper red color, stick with red varieties and decrease the almonds to 1/2 cup. The great thing about gazpacho is that you can really add or subtract almost any ingredient. If you like it spicy, add more pepper. If you like a higher acidity level, increase the lime juice. Add cilantro, cumin, saffron–whatever you like. Note that I prefer to make the base of the soup a day in advance, and then stir in the diced vegetables just before serving. This lets the flavors develop but maintains the crunch factor. However, this is wonderful served immediately, or after chilling the completed soup overnight.
- About 2 pounds of ripe tomatoes
- 1-2 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed
- ¾ cup Marcona almonds
- juice of one lime (about 3 tablespoons)
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- ½ teaspoon Aleppo pepper (or crushed red pepper, to taste)
- salt, to taste
- 1 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded, and diced (about 1½ cups)
- ½ cup finely diced red onion
- 1 cup peeled, seeded, chopped tomato
- You want to reserve the juice as you peel and seed the tomatoes, so set up a fine sieve over a bowl. Use a sharp paring knife to peel and core the tomatoes, holding them over the sieve (very ripe tomatoes should peel easily with a knife). Cut each tomato in half, and squeeze out most of the seeds over the sieve. You will end up with about a cup of juice in the bowl.
- In your blender, combine the peeled, seeded tomatoes, reserved tomato juice, garlic, almonds, lime juice, olive oil, smoked paprika, Aleppo pepper, and salt. Blend until very smooth. Taste and adjust seasonings, as needed.
- Stir in the cucumber, red onion, and chopped tomato, and chill before serving. Alternatively, chill the base overnight and then stir in the chopped vegetables right before serving. I like to serve this with a few fresh tomatoes sprinkled on top, and a drizzle of olive oil.
I also ended up drinking a tomato and strawberry smoothie the other day. Honestly, not bad, but the soup is better.
Thanks for reading,