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What a great tomato season this year. We’ve been eating so many from local farmers, many different varieties. The only glitch with making a post about them, is that we eat them all so quickly, I don’t get to try new recipes! Salads, of course, have been full of tomatoes. Cherry tomatoes are grazed upon through the day or chopped up for topping pasta or eggs. Mixed varieties and a big bunch of basil whizzed up in the food processor and cooked very gently with garlic, oil, salt, pepper and crushed chili is my most favourite pasta sauce.

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The recipe I did follow was one I had tried many years ago. Now GJ wants me to make it all the time: Mexican Gazpacho from The Vegetarian Table: Mexico by Victoria Wise. A delicious late summer soup that is so refreshing. Here’s the recipe:

• 3 pounds ripe tomatoes, peeled and seeded, pureed and strained (see Note)
• 2 cups vegetable stock or water
• 1/2 cup fresh lime juice
• 1 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded, and finely chopped
• 1 medium Anaheim chili, stemmed, seeded, and finely chopped
• 1 jalapeño chili, stemmed, seeded, and finely chopped
• 4 scallions, trimmed and minced
• 1 large garlic clove, minced or pressed
• 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano leaves or 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano plus 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley or cilantro leaves
• 2 tablespoons olive oil
• Salt, to taste
• 1 tablespoon tequila (optional)
• 1 medium avocado, peeled, pitted, and coarsely chopped
• Wheat or corn tortilla chips

In a large bowl stir together the tomatoes, stock, lime juice, cucumber, chilies, scallions, garlic, and 1 teaspoon of the fresh oregano or 1/2 teaspoon dried. Cover and refrigerate for several hours or overnight, until very cold.

Just before serving, stir in the olive oil, salt to taste, and tequila, if using. Spread the chopped avocado on the tortilla chips and sprinkle the remaining fresh oregano and other herb over the avocado. Ladle the soup into individual bowls. Garnish each bowl with the avocado-topped chips and serve right away.

Note: An equally fine, and also traditional, gazpacho can be made without pureeing and straining the tomatoes. Increase the amount of vegetable stock to 4 cups. Peel and seed 2 pounds of tomatoes and cut them into thin julienne strips. Stir the tomatoes into the stock along with the other vegetables.

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My note: I didn’t use the garnish idea so I just stirred in the chopped cilantro when serving.

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