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summer’s super soup

Dave does not like cold soup. Something about it just seems wrong to him. Seriously?!  I mean, it’s gazpacho, what’s not to like?!

  1. First off, it’s soup, for goodness sake. Soup = Love!
  2. It’s full of tomatoes. Tomatoes = Yum!
  3. It’s over 100 degrees outside: Cold Refreshing Soup = Smart!
  4. It’s called gazpacho = a Fantastic word to say, especially if you say it in your sexiest Antonio Banderas voice!

Obviously, I love gazpacho!

I made it for the last class of my series and brought home a container of leftovers.  At dinner the next night, I made a bowl for myself and said to Dave, “I’m having gazpacho, would you like a bowl?”

“No, thanks”, he replied.  I went about putting together our plates and as I was doing so, he suddenly noticed that there was shrimp topping my soup. “Oh, I’ve changed my mind, I’ll have a bowl”, he said.

Really? All it takes is a couple of little shrimp for you to change your bad attitude over cold soup?  He ate the entire bowlful. Whatever men are exasperating!

I know that the long laundry list of ingredients looks intimidating, but if you look more closely, you’ll see that after you’ve chopped the first 4 key ingredients, it’s just a matter of dumping in the rest … well, except for mincing the jalapeno, garlic, and herbs. But really, it’s not as daunting as it may look.   Tip: There are several duplicate ingredients in the soup and creamy avocado topping – chop them at the same time and divide for dual-use.

Gazpacho with Creamy Avocado and Smoked Paprika Shrimp

1  1/2 pounds ripe tomatoes, finely chopped, divided
1 English cucumber, seeded and finely chopped
1  small onion, peeled and diced, divided
1 of each; red, yellow, and orange bell pepper, cored, seeded, diced, divided
14-ounce can peeled plum tomatoes with juices
16-ounce can V-8 tomato juice
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1  1/2 teaspoons chili powder
2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
1 small jalapeno, seeded and minced
1/2 cup fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons each; minced fresh cilantro, Italian parsley, oregano, and basil

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound peeled and deveined medium shrimp
1 teaspoon smoked paprika

Mashed Avocado
1 pound ripe avocados, cut in half lengthwise and pitted
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon sour cream or plain yogurt
3/4 teaspoon chopped fresh Italian parsley
3/4 teaspoon chopped fresh cilantro
1 garlic clove, peeled and minced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Gazpacho: Combine half of the chopped tomatoes with half of the cucumbers, onions, and red, yellow, and green bell peppers in the bowl of a food processor with the canned tomatoes, and puree on high speed. Combine the remaining half of the chopped ingredients in a very large bowl. Add the pureed vegetables, the V-8, and all of the remaining ingredients and stir well to blend. Cover and refrigerate until very cold, at least 4 hours.

Shrimp: Heat a large saute pan over medium-high heat.  Add the oil and then the shrimp and saute until just cooked through, about minutes. Remove shrimp and place in a medium bowl, toss with smoked paprika.  Set aside at room temperature to cool or cover and refrigerate if done ahead.

Mashed Avocado: Just before serving, prepare the avocado. Using a large spoon, scoop the avocado into a medium bowl and mash with the back of a fork. Fold in the remaining ingredients and mix until blended and creamy.

To serve, ladle the soup into small bowls, top each with 2 tablespoons of the mashed avocado and garnish with the shrimp.

Serves 10

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1 Pat { 05.19.12 at 12:01 PM }

You’d have to convince me to eat cold soup, too, probably because it’s our comfort food during the cold Illinois winters.

2 Marissa { 05.19.12 at 3:16 PM }

I agree with dad and Grandma. Hot soup all the way!

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