It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…
Like Carton, (A Tale of Two Cities), my first attempt at grilled Gazpacho ended up worthless and a waste of some fine ingredients.
By the second round, this soup was resurrected.
Here is my story.
Day one, round one…
First step, grill all the vegetables.
As much as I enjoy the taste and smell of a grilled veggie, I don’t enjoy the actual task of grilling. I don’t use the Weber much so it should come as no surprise that I had to punt when it came to getting it started with the chimney.
I used a lot of paper…and a lot of hardwood lump charcoal.
After two attempts, I got that baby going. And, before long, all the veggies were grilled and ready for processing.
Luckily, the vegetables cooked to perfection. I could have eaten them right then and there. But I was on a mission to perfect a most delicious Gazpacho which meant moving on to the Vitamix for a quick purée.
My morning couldn’t get any better. I was moving along like a locomotive. The purée was savorily pleasing to the palette and it was difficult to keep my spoon out of the mixture.
But, my ever noisy mind kept telling me that this could be better. I love to experiment. One of my favorite kid shows, that I used to watch with my daughter when she was younger, was The Magic School Bus. And my favorite phrase, by the teacher named Mrs. Frizzle, was, “Take chances! Make Mistakes! Get Messy!”
I took a chance, I made a mistake, I got messy.
So, you are probably thinking what happened?
Fruit… fruit is what happened.
The combination of fruit and vegetables worked with the watermelon version right? So, I added the juice of an orange with its rind. What I didn’t do, ahead of time, was check for ripeness of that decimating orange.
It was s-o-u-r beyond belief. And the dish had to be thrown out.
As you may know, like Carton, I had to redeem myself.
Day two, round two...
I hit the grocery store at 7:00 am to replenish the supply of veggies. By 8:00 am, working like a speed demon, I had all the veggies cut and ready to go.
Time to get the grill going.
As I got things in place, I realized that when I grilled the day before, I used 3/4 of our 8.8 lb. bag of bricks.
There was no way I could keep the grill going with just a handful of the remaining lava rocks. And, no way was I going back to the store to purchase more.
What to do?
Using the George Foreman came to mind. So, I made a b-line to the basement. Obviously, not the greatest scenario but it would do.
As I reached for the Foreman, I glanced over at our underused pizza stone stored in the lower left corner of the shelf.
Hmm, what would grilling veggies taste on that, I wondered? Maybe some of those old fused-to-the-surface pizza molecules would permeate into the vegetables!
I dumped the Forman and grabbed the stone.
While the pizza stone is a little worse for wear, the vegetables turned out rather well. And, while not that typical grilled taste you get from the Weber and, sadly, no permeation of pizza molecules occurred, it got the job done. This soup turned out to be one of our more flavorful versions of Gazpacho.
But, I wonder, what if I had grilled the orange?
This recipe yields 10-12 servings.
2 poblano peppers
10 tomatoes, halved
2 red peppers, halved
2 zucchini, halved
2 summer squash, halved
2 red onions, halved
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup fresh basil
2 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp oregano
sea salt and pepper to taste
thinly sliced cucumber for garnish
Heat any type of grill you choose to use. Place poblano pepper on grill until it is charred on all side. Store in plastic bag until cool. In the meantime, season the remaining vegetables with salt and pepper and cook for about ten minutes or until tender. Flip all vegetables over half way through the ten minute mark. Skin, core and seed the poblano peppers. Blend, in batches if necessary, the peppers and remaining ingredients in food processor or Vitamix. Cool for several hours or overnight in the refrigerator. Adjust seasonings and serve with a few thinly sliced pieces of cucumber for garnish.
Try experimenting with any vegetables of your choosing!
What type of fruit do you think would go with this dish? Please comment…