Every summer I go through this phase where I want to eat local, seasonal ingredients. I also try to cut back on meats, I limit my intake of cream, and vow to eat like that for as long possible. This gazpacho makes that easy. (Hamburgers and ice cream make that hard.)
This also happens to be vegetarian, vegan, raw, and gluten-free if you omit the bread (but I would never, ever suggest that unless you enjoy being sad — bread is my source of ultimate happiness).
Given the chef behind this recipe (Daniel Humm of Eleven Madison Park), it’s no surprise. Chef Humm has made a name for himself as a master of gastronomic fare in the last few years, but also excels at producing complex flavors from simple ingredients. No heavy machinery or fancy foods are needed to make this soup. It does benefit, however, from being served on an extra hot day. Fortunately (or not) for New England, we’ve got a few of those coming up later this week.
This gazpacho can’t be made on a whim (it requires planning and a certain amount of patience to reap the reward), but it is hands down worth the wait. If you’re looking to impress, this soup is sure to please.
In a small pan over medium-low heat, toast the bread in the olive oil with crushed garlic and thyme until golden brown. Reserve.
Though the instructions did not specify removing the crust, I would recommend it. I had some difficulty getting the mixture to blend smooth later, and I’m fairly certain it was because I didn’t remove the crust from the bread.
Hull and dice a bunch of strawberries.
Then add a diced red bell pepper, half of a green bell pepper, garlic, and two peeled and seeded cucumbers.
Combine with tomato juice, vinegar, and olive oil, then let sit at room temperature for at least 3 hours.
I feel healthy just looking at that photo.
Purée diced mixture and reserved toasted bread in a blender until smooth, then strain through a chinois (optional).
Refrigerate soup and serve chilled with a drizzle of olive oil, some freshly cracked black pepper, and a few basil leaves.
I toasted up a few extra pieces of baguette rubbed with fresh garlic for good measure. It totally hit the spot.
This gazpacho is stellar. It was great the first night, but even better the next; make it the day before, if possible.
There’s an undeniable strawberry flavor up front, but a refreshing cucumber finish at the end of each bite.
This would make a beautiful appetizer to a light summer meal, or simply as the the star of the show. I can also picture this being a success served in small portions as a cool treat at your next barbecue. Pour soup into shot glasses (who doesn’t love a refreshing soup shooter?) and top each with olive oil, salt, pepper, a fresh basil leaf, and one small crouton. Adorable, healthy, and sure to yield compliments from your guests.
Make this now before strawberries go out of season!
Daniel Humm’s Strawberry Gazpacho
*Recipe from Eleven Madison Park: The Cookbook.
Yields: 4-6 servings
Time: 25 min prep, 3+ hours before serving
- 2 slices country white bread (I used Italian baguette)
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- 1 sprig thyme
- 1 1/2 lbs strawberries, plus 8 pieces for garnish
- 1 red bell pepper, seeded
- 1/2 green bell pepper, seeded
- 2 cucumbers, peeled and seeded
- 1 clove garlic
- 3 oz tomato juice
- 3 tbsp red-wine vinegar
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- Sea salt to taste
- Tabasco to taste
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- Black pepper to taste
- Basil leaves
- For the toast: In a small pan over medium-low heat, toast the bread in the olive oil with the crushed garlic and thyme until golden brown. Reserve.
- For the gazpacho: Hull the strawberries by inserting a straw at the bottom of the berry and pushing it through the cap.
- Dice the berries, peppers, cucumbers, and garlic, and combine with tomato juice, vinegar, and olive oil. Let marinate for 3 hours at room temperature. Combine all ingredients, including the toasted bread, in a blender, and blend until smooth. Strain through chinois (optional). Season with salt and Tabasco. Refrigerate and serve chilled. Finish with olive oil, black pepper, and basil.