Thursday, November 17, 2011

Chilled Beet Gazpacho

Way back in August (which seems a long time ago - it was 43F outside the Commissary today), Wall Street Journal published a one-page article on cold summer soups, including a chilled corn soup with fresh nutmeg, asparagus vichyssoise, chilled sake cucumber honeydew soup, chilled almond soup, and a chilled beet gazpacho. I don't have much experience doing soups (there was that basil-zucchini one not so long ago, which, oddly enough, didn't show up in this article), but we do get a lot of beets from the farm, so I made a mental note to try the gazpacho the next time we got some. Lo and behold, less than a month went by before some red beauties showed up - I decided to throw together our house meatloaf and pair it with gazpacho for a little change of pace at the dinner table.

The recipe (see here) was pretty much a snap. I roasted the beets in the oven (my usual prep for them) rather than steam them, with the end result being the same. The trickiest part was finding sherry vinegar (which, to this day, I still haven't located after checking numerous food stores) - I was able to determine via Internet search that red wine vinegar is a suitable substitute in its absence. The author states in the article that the gazpacho "has a pickled quality that is not for the faint of heart" and they're not just whistling Dixie. It does, in fact, have a pretty good bite to it if you prep it according to the instructions (Mrs. Hackknife was a bit turned off by this, but I soldiered on and was able to eat several servings of it over the next few days). Given the onion and garlic content, you'll be assured of keeping most people a safe distance away for a while following consumption....

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