Genève’s Kitchen

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Macho Gazpacho

June 28th, 2006 · 5 Comments

gazpacho.jpgI had gone for a long walk yesterday when the idea for gazpacho soup popped into my head.  The cool soup with refreshing flavors of cucumber, tomato, peppers, and herbs would be the perfect way to cool off after a long busy day of work.  

I had made gazpacho a few times in the past but was never entirely thrilled with the finished product.  I perused a few recipes online and did a little mixing and matching until I came up with something that looked like it would work.  I dashed out to my local grocery store to pick up a few items that I'd need such as a serrano pepper and avocado. 

Any recipe that involves a serrano pepper is macho in my books.  (I should add that I happen to be a complete wimp when it comes to hot foods but I'm trying to improve my tolerance.)  The rule of thumb with chili peppers is that the smaller they are, the more heat they pack.  Well, the serrano pepper that I bought at the store only cost 2 cents after it was weighed if that is any indication as to how small it was! 

What resulted from my gazpacho "experiment" was, in my opinion, a complete success.  The different ingredients that were inspired by a few different recipes really added great flavors – the avocado which was something I'd never experienced in a gazpacho before was delicious and the chick peas which I added for the sake of protein were as good for texture as they were for flavor. This soup can be made a day in advance as it will intensify in flavor the longer the ingredients get to hang-out together.  You can pair this gazpacho with some sandwiches, eat as is, or serve as a starter.

Macho Gazpacho

1 28 oz. can of whole fire roasted tomatoes
1 14 oz. can of chick peas, drained and rinsed with water
1 fresh vine-ripened tomato, cut into a small dice
1 red pepper, cut into a small dice
1 red onion, cut into a small dice
1/2 English cucumber, cut into a small dice
1 Avocado, cut into a small dice
3 cloves of garlic, minced
Small handful of cilantro, chopped
Small handful of basil, chopped
Juice from 1/2 lemon
3 Cups of free range organic chicken stock
2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/2 Teaspoon finely minced serrano pepper (feel free to add more than this if you like things hot)
1 1/2 Teaspoon ground cumin
1 Teaspoon sea salt, add to taste 
Freshly cracked black pepper
1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

Since gazpacho conveniently doesn't need to be cooked you are essentially just adding all these ingredients together, stirring, chilling in the fridge, and then eating!  So this is super simple to prepare!

1) Begin by setting aside a large bowl in which to mix this soup. I started with the messiest and more labor intensive things first, i.e. those things that required chopping.  I opened the can of fire roasted tomatoes and you can either chop them on your cutting board or just use your (clean) hands to squish them into the bowl so that they are crushed.  Add all of the liquid from the canned tomatoes and add it to the bowl as well.  Next chop the fresh tomato and add that in the bowl.  Drain and rinse the chickpeas and add them in the bowl.  I learned that by rinsing the canned beans you remove about 40% or more of the sodium.  Also, you remove that syrup in which they are preserved. 

2)  Go ahead and chop all of the next listed ingredients and as you could probably guess, add to the bowl.  (I told you this was simple).  The only ingredient that I want to comment on is the serrano pepper.  Now, you're going to feel like a surgeon doing this but I highly recommend that you wear latex gloves if you happen to have a pair around.  The reason being is that these peppers have natural oils that are difficult to wash off completely and if you accidentally rub your eyes etc. you aren't going to be a happy camper.  I saw Nigella Lawson do this once and I adopted this method and found that it worked quite well.  Slice the pepper length-wise and scrape out the seeds and the white fleshy parts which is where most of the heat is – then finely mince the pepper.  I only added a 1/2 teaspoon because as I mentioned before, I'm a wimp.  Feel free to add as much or as little pepper as you like.  Also, taste to add more salt or pepper as needed.

3)  When all the ingredients have been added, stir and place in the refrigerator for about a half hour so that the flavors have a chance to intensify.  I like to take the gazpacho out a little bit before serving just to remove the chill.


Tags: Appetizers · Entree · Soup

5 responses so far ↓

  • kareem // Jun 28, 2006 at 12:26 am

    I once made the mistake of cutting about 20 serrano peppers without gloves. 6-7 hours later, after washing my hands thoroughly multiple times, I attempted to take out my contacts.

    It felt like I rubbed the serrano pepper directly on my eye… I highly recommend using the gloves!

  • Ivonne // Jun 29, 2006 at 6:56 am

    Were you reading my mind? Because just the other day I was thinking about gazpacho with a dollop of créme fraiche.

    I love your macho gazpacho(great name)!

  • noah kagan // Jun 29, 2006 at 9:52 am

    nice! when i finally move out of my mom’s house that is something definitely on my list to make. my mom’s too anal about cleanliness to let me cook at home;P

    kareem’s friend,

  • Tanna // Jun 29, 2006 at 7:10 pm

    This is one of my all time favorites for the hot summer time. Looks like you got the ingredient list just about perfect.

  • From Our Kitchen // Jun 30, 2006 at 3:58 pm

    I like the chunkyness of it. The few I’ve had in the past were lacking in texture. Looks perfect for summer.