The summer months are the prime time to practice your culinary skills as it’s the peak season to get your hands on a plethora of fruits and vegetables. During this time, there is an abundance of fresh produce bursting with color and flavor, just waiting to be turned into a culinary masterpiece. And, we have the recipe that is sure to please some pallets. The best part? It’s quick and easy to prepare, healthy and undeniably delicious, making it the perfect appetizer or light lunch.
Introducing Andalusian Gazpacho.
We know what you’re thinking: A soup in the summer? Don’t you worry.
“This is a cold soup made of raw, blended vegetables. It originated in the southern regions of the Iberian Peninsula and spread into other areas,” says Moorings Park Grande Lake’s General Manager of Dining, Alexander Dimas.
“Gazpacho is widely eaten in Spain and Portugal, particularly during hot summers since it is refreshing and cool. Our Chef Julien adds his twist to this, garnishing the dish with house-made basil oil, organic hydroponic micro basil, and a freshly baked garlic focaccia crouton.”
Sounds delicious. So, what will you need?
- 2 lbs. Ripened Roma Tomato
- 8 oz Peeled European Cucumber
- 1 Cored Bell Pepper
- 3 oz Red Onion
- 2 Tbsp Cherry Vinegar
- 2 Garlic Cloves
- 3 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 2 tsp Salt
- 1 tsp Sugar
- 5 oz Bread (crust discarded)
- Salt & Pepper to taste
- 250g Basil Leaves
- 450g Canola Oil
- 12 lbs. Focaccia Bread, cut into cubes
- 2 qt Canola Oil
- ½ cup Dried Basil
- 1 ½ cup Garlic Powder
- 3 cups Grated Parmesan Cheese
- ¼ cup Ground Black Pepper
- ¼ cup Kosher Salt
To make the soup, simply combine all ingredients together in a blender and puree until you reach your desired soup consistency. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
To create the basil oil, blanch basil in boiling water for 30 seconds and shock immediately in ice water. Proceed by squeezing excess water from the basil. Next, place the basil and oil in a blender and puree (not for too long or the basil will heat and brown). Pass it through a coffee filter. Chill over ice and refrigerate until ready to garnish over soup.
To make the garlic croutons, first, place the diced bread in a sheet pan and bake at 350F for 5 minutes. Next, combine the oil and seasoning, tossing the bread cubes in the mixture. Return your seasoned bread to the sheet pan and sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Bake for 10 minutes until golden brown.
Finally, combine all your ingredients: decorate your soup with garlic croutons and basil oil.
After that, you can dig in. Serve it to your dinner guests as a veggie-packed appetizer, or whip this up for a quick, light lunch on a hot summer day. Either way, it’s a tasty easy way to incorporate more nutrition into our diet!
For more delicious recipes, be sure to check out any of Moorings Park Communities’ casual and fine dining restaurants!