As the weather turns warmer and local farm markets start to sell their produce, I begin to think of lighter, healthier foods. Smoky Gazpacho is a fresh and delicious soup which can be served chilled or room temperature. The smoky flavor makes this gazpacho super flavorful.
- 2 pounds ripe Roma tomatoes
- 1 orange bell pepper
- 1 cucumber, peeled, halved, seeded
- 2 slices day-old bread, torn into chunks
- 1 garlic clove
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- Salt and black pepper to taste
- 2 to 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- basil for garnish
- Preheat the grill to medium-high.
- Oil the grill and place whole tomatoes and bell pepper on grill grate and cook, turning as appropriate, until skins have charred spots, about 6 minutes.
- Transfer tomatoes to a plate to cool. Transfer the pepper to a paper bag, closing bag to lock in steam, and let it steam for 5 to 10 minutes.
- When peppers are cool enough to handle, peel off the skin and cut pepper in half. Remove the stem and seeds and place one half in a blender.
- When tomatoes are cool enough to handle, coarsely chop them and add to the blender.
- Add half of the cucumber to the blender as well as the bread, garlic, vinegar, parsley, and paprika. Season with salt and pepper and blend until smooth.
- Add oil and blend for 20 to 30 seconds.
- Transfer gazpacho to a bowl and refrigerate until chilled. Before serving, finely dice the remaining cucumber and bell pepper.
- Sprinkle on top of gazpacho and give it one or two stirs. Serve chilled or at room temperature.