Thursday, June 25, 2009

Ina Garten's Gazpacho

Truth: I've eaten gazpacho six times (I've cooked it three of those six) and I don't really like it. I don't know why, exactly. I love a good Bloody Mary. I like tomato soup. I adore salad. And if you think about it, gazpacho is sort of all three of those things in one. If those things float my boat separately, why do I taste them together and think, meh?

I've just joined Barefoot Bloggers and, by doing so, have committed myself to cooking two Ina Garten recipes a month. While I'm excited to be part of a group of fantastic cooks and bloggers, I'm less than thrilled that gazpacho is my first assignment. But I'm game.

The Good News: Mother Nature cooked up a perfect day for cold soup. It's been rainy this summer, but suddenly Colorado decided to wake up and start steamin', and she means business! I was pleased because cold weather+cold soup=wrong.

Here's Ina's Recipe:

A few things about the recipe:

-it seemed kind of fussy to individually chop each vegetable and whiz it in the food processor? I mean, it's all coming together in the end anyways, right? But I did it like Ina told me to. Have no idea if it made a difference.

-I also followed Ina's instruction not to over-process the vegetables, but to be honest, I didn't like the little bits of texture in there. I sort of think a soup should be either rustically chunky or luxuriously smooth, and this was neither. I don't like soup with a commitment problem.

-To chill or not to chill the serving bowls? I didn't. Don't know if it mattered.

Again, alas, my reaction is...meh. I think it's a texture issue for me. I felt like I was, to be honest, eating a bowl of salsa. And if I want to eat a bowl of salsa, it's a helluva lot easier to just open a jar and add a spoon.

The flavor was okay--I might add some fresh herbs or even some crushed red pepper next time. If there's a next time, because I think I'm not a gazpacho girl. Just sayin'.


  1. At least it looks good! I like gazpacho when the soup part is very smooth with square cut veggies in contrast to the smooth soup. It needs to have a spicy kick but have more cucumber/fresh flavor than salsa flavor. Yeah...I guess I'm picky too!

  2. Gaspacho and borscht: meh.

    Even good ones. Just not my thing. I agree with you on tomato juice, salsa, tomato soup. But watered down salsa? Nope.

    stick the leftovers in a stockpot and warm that stuff into some real soup.

  3. It looks really good, but cold soup is wrong.

  4. I'm not a huge gazpacho fan, either. I suppose maybe I should try it again. I think it's the whole cold soup business. Doesn't really do it for me.

  5. Sorry you didn't enjoy it more. I think maybe the world is divided between those who love cold soup and those who don't...

  6. I know what you mean - I have issues with this soup - sometimes I love it (if I am in the right mood) but it is a psychological thing for me. It is, as you say, like salsa if you make it the way you described. Who eats spoonfuls of salsa?!

    Sometimes I like to regard a Bloody Mary as a sort of starter soup - if I am out drinking and I'm hungry, it is a good option...

    When it is hot and you want something refreshing -in small quantities this can be okay. Just it can also be overpowering and leave a lingering taste that turns your tummy if you are not careful and not in the right mood...

  7. Funny you should post this, I've always wanted to try/make this and never have. Like you, it has ingredients that I love, but there's just something about the coldness that stops me. I think I would either love or hate it, not sure. How long did it take you to make it? Would it taste better with a margarita on the side? Chips and guac?

  8. Gibby, everything tastes better with a margarita on the side. And with chips and guac, for that matter! It only took about a half hour to make, so give it a whirl if you feel so inclined.

  9. I added shrimp to mine and made rosemary cracker to dip into the soup. It just seemed to need a little help.

  10. Some herbs would be really good with this...or, hey, just add vodka! :)