Remember the marinated and grilled veggies post from the other weekend? I recently had an opportunity to make it again when we had some friends over to welcome them back to town (yahoo!). While at our favorite farmer's market Saturday, we bought a brown bag full of summer squash and baby zucchini so we threw those on the grill with spring onions, mushrooms and a baby eggplant. We used the same balsamic marinade and they came out just as tasty as the first time.
We had almost a pound of the grilled vegetables leftover so last night I decided to try making Gazpacho which, surprisingly enough, I've only ever tried once. We'll be changing that this summer! Here's how it came together:
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 raw white onion, diced
1/2 large green bell pepper, diced
2 garlic cloves
leftover grilled, balsamic-marinated summer vegetables
1-26 oz can crushed tomatoes with basil
2 tbsp tomato paste
2 cups low sodium chicken stock
2 cups water (or more if you want to thin it out)
fresh chopped herbs - I had basil, oregano and thyme on hand
crushed red pepper flakes
2 bay leaves
salt and pepper
I started by sautéing the onion and green pepper in the olive oil with a little S & P in my Martha Stewart Collection Enameled Cast Iron Casserole Pot until the onions were translucent . Next I turned up the heat on the stove a bit and added the crushed garlic, grilled vegetables, tomatoes, tomato paste and chicken stock. I broke out my trusty Cuisinart cordless hand blender and blended all the veggie bits together until there were no big bite-sized pieces left (although I left it a little chunky because I like that texture). Next I added the water, the fresh herbs, the bay leaves (these will come out before serving), a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes and a pinch more black pepper. I brought the soup up to a boil and then put the lid on and took it off the heat to simmer for about 30 minutes.
From there the whole pot went into the fridge overnight and then the chilled soup went into my belly over lunch. With these 100° days, I've been craving ice-cold lunches and this one hit the spot. It's a great way to help meet your veggie quota for the day and enjoy a refreshing, cool meal.