Minty Gazpacho With Herbed Croutons

The clean taste of mint accents this fresh vegetable soup, chilled to be crisp and refreshing.

Servings: 4

Cook Time: 20 minutes plus 1 hour chilling

Pair With: A lively white wine.

Source: Recipe and photo courtesy Tama Takahashi, Touring & Tasting Food Editor


Ingredients For the Gazpacho:

4 medium very ripe tomatoes

1 cucumber

1/2 green bell pepper

3 garlic cloves

1/2 small sweet white or red onion

2 teaspoons white vinegar

4 tablespoons olive oil

1 teaspoon lemon juice

2 teaspoons minced mint plus one sprig for each serving as garnish

2 tablespoons minced cilantro

1 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon black pepper

Ingredients For the Croutons:

2 slices whole grain bread, 2 day old is best

5 tablespoons olive oil

3 tablespoons grated Parmesan

2 teaspoons fines herbes


Directons For the Gazpacho:

Boil enough water to submerge tomatoes, add the tomatoes and cook a couple of minutes or just until the skin splits. Remove and cool, then peel off the skins. Cut into quarters and remove the seeds. Put the tomatoes in a flat bowl and mash thoroughly with a potato masher (or process in food processor).

Peel the cucumber and cut in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Mince the cucumber, bell pepper, onion and garlic finely by hand or with food processor. Add to the tomatoes along with the oil, vinegar, lemon juice, salt, pepper, minced cilantro and onion. Mix well and chill at least an hour.

Directions For the Croutons:

Cut the crusts off the bread slices, toast until dry but not browned, then remove and brush with olive oil, sprinkle with cheese and fines herbes then toast until golden brown. Cut them into small croutons about 1" square. To serve, put 3/4 to 1 cup of gazpacho in a small bowl and garnish with croutons and a sprig of mint.


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