Hot Day, Cold Soup!
Gazpacho, a chilled tomato soup from Spain is the perfect cold food for a hot summer day, especially right now with all the delicious, juicy, flavorful tomatoes in season.
Fill a blender with raw foods like peppers, cucumber, onion, garlic, and of course, lots of tomatoes, blend and add liberal amounts of salt, pepper, herbs and some hot sauce if you like. Whatever you do, don’t skip the generous amounts of a high-quality extra virgin olive oil – it is what adds creamy mouthfeel and incredible flavor.
Upgrade this classic summer soup with a protein punch by pairing it with seared or grilled scallops. The scallops are seasoned with a citrusy and herby compound butter that can also be used to spread on some grilled bread to finish up the meal.
I love to make this soup as it is traditionally made with a little bread in it to prevent the soup from separating and to add body to the soup, but BE BRAVE and make it gluten free if you prefer by skipping the bread altogether. If you forgo the bread, make sure you add an additional 2-3 tablespoons of EVOO to ensure a rich, creamy consistency and flavor.
Soup’s up folks!!
Tomato Gazpacho with Herbed Scallop Brochette
(* indicates my preferred ingredients – see notes for alternatives)
5 medium tomatoes, chopped (about 5 cups of chopped tomatoes)
1 ½ cup chopped cucumber, seeds and skin removed (See Chef Tip)
1 ½ cup chopped red bell pepper (seeds and veins removed)
½ cup sliced red onion (See Chef Tip)
½ cup chopped cilantro (or parsley)
4 cloves garlic, sliced
2 tablespoons O&V Cabernet Sauvignon Red wine vinegar *
Zest from one orange plus ¼ cup of orange juice
Tomato juice or chilled water to achieve consistency
1 teaspoon O&V Smoked Paprika *
¼ teaspoon salt (more to taste)
¾ teaspoon ground pepper
1 cup cubed whole-wheat bread (crusts removed)
¼ cup O&V Unflavored EVOO (plus more for drizzling) *
1 ¼ lb dry sea scallops
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 teaspoon O&V Herb Butter Mix *
½ teaspoon lemon zest (more for garnish)
Pepper to taste
Combine the tomatoes, bell pepper, cucumber, onion, cilantro, garlic, vinegar, paprika, salt and pepper in a blender. Pulse until finely chopped.
Remove 1 cup of the mixture into a bowl. Add the bread, orange juice and EVOO to the blender and blend until smooth. Transfer everything from the blender to the bowl. Add tomato juice or chilled water to achieve a nice smooth consistency, cover and refrigerate for a minimum of 2 hours (and up to 2 days).
In a small bowl moisten the Herb Butter mix with a teaspoon of warm water. Let sit for 5 minutes to rehydrate the herbs. Combine well with the softened butter and the grated lemon zest. Add pepper to taste.
When ready to serve, heat the grill to medium high. Pat the scallops dry with a paper towel and then lightly brush them with EVOO. Grill for about 2 minutes on each side (no longer than a total of 5 minutes) flipping only once.
Remove from the grill and brush the hot scallops generously with the butter mixture and garnish with additional cracked pepper and lemon zest.
Pour the cold gazpacho into a cup, drizzle generously with additional EVOO. Serve seared scallops with the cold gazpacho.
Active time 40 minutes Total Time: 40 minutes (plus refrigeration time for the gazpacho)
Milk the cucumber, to remove the bitterness before peeling the cucumber to ensure that the soup doesn’t taste bitter.
Soak the sliced onion in cold water for 15 minutes before adding to the blender, it will tame the bite and prevent the soup from getting too oniony as it sits in the refrigerator.
* The Cabernet Sauvignon Red wine vinegar adds nice tang and acidity to the gazpacho which is balanced nicely by the smoothness of the Unflavored EVOO. I also love the depth of flavor that the Smoked Paprika lends. Feel free to use your favorite high quality red wine vinegar, paprika and EVOO but remember that for simple dishes like this, the quality of the ingredients absolutely makes a difference in the final flavors
* The Herb Butter Mix has a delicious array of herbs and spices and is perfect for both the scallops or some grilled bread to go with this soup. You can substitute your favorite high-quality herb mix if you prefer, although that will change out the flavors of the scallops.
Categories: Entrée, Soups & Salads, Appetizers, Breakfast & Brunch, Seafood, Dairy Free, Easy Weeknight Meal, Easy Entertaining, Gazpacho, Tomatoes, Cold Soup, Summer Eating, Scallops, Herb Butter Mix, Cabernet Sauvignon Red Wine Vinegar, Unflavored EVOO, Kid Friendly Cooking,