{recipe} Creamy Heirloom Tomato Gazpacho

In San Francisco, we suffer through a cold and foggy July and August  in anticipation of the warm, sunny Indian summer days that arrive during September and October. While our East Coast counterparts are thinking about pulling out winter coats and boots, in the Bay Area we’re just breaking in our shorts and flip-flops to soak up these late-arriving rays. The heirloom tomatoes are perfectly ripe and the sun is out, so what better time to make cool, creamy gazpacho?

I think gazpacho is a smashing summer idea, but it always has cucumbers in it. At the risk of offending cucumber-lovers out there, let me just say that cucumbers are so gross. I’ll grudgingly admit that they add some creaminess and tang to the soup, so I adapted a Melissa Clark recipe for gazpacho that eschews the cucumbers in favor of sheep’s milk yogurt–which is both creamy and tangy, and more importantly, totally not gross.

I made a big batch to bring over to some friends who are about to have their first baby. With this in their freezer, they can pull it out to thaw in the fridge and enjoy it some sunny day in the near future. I saved some for myself and poured it into 5 oz glasses so I could serve it as a tiny soup course before a dinner party. No spoons needed – just a shot of late-summer tomato sweetness down the gullet.

Creamy Heirloom Tomato Gazpacho
serves 8

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 4 scallions, white and light green part only
  • about 2 lbs. ripe heirloom tomatoes, cored and roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tblsp red wine vinegar
  • about 2 tsp salt (more to taste)
  • large pinch cayenne pepper (more to taste)
  • 16 oz. plain full-fat sheep’s-milk yogurt (can substitute regular yogurt, but for best results use a full-fat yogurt with a creamy texture)

METHOD:

  • Put everything except yogurt in a blender and blend until creamy.
  • Add yogurt and blend again. Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary.
  • Serve immediately at room temperature or chill in the fridge for a few hours to overnight and serve cold.
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5 comments

1 ginny { 09.04.11 at 3:54 am }

huh, you can freeze it? that is awesome. I remember those cold Bay Area summers–would trade you a day or two right now as TX is nowhere near pulling out winter garb :)
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2 Luke { 09.07.11 at 1:26 pm }

I disagree with serving it cold. Actually when i drink something very cold (when it hot outside) i sweat like a wild pig chased by 10 lions!

Maybe it personal but for me the best temperature of drinks is around 12 to 14 degrees Celsius.
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3 Karen { 09.07.11 at 1:43 pm }

@Luke I have eaten this cold and at room temperature, and I definitely prefer it at room temp!

4 Karen { 09.07.11 at 1:44 pm }

@Ginny- yes, you can freeze it as long as you just defrost it in the fridge and give it a stir. And despite the whining about the cold weather here, I would still not trade it for anything over 100 at any time!

5 mjskit { 09.08.11 at 3:26 pm }

I love this version of Gazpacho! It’s so simple and looks quite easy! Beautiful picture.
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