Grilling adds smoky flavor to gazpacho

  • By Alison Ladman Associated Press
  • Tuesday, July 3, 2012 4:35pm
  • Life

Ready for a cool and refreshing soup hot off the grill? It’s got to be gazpacho.

Gazpacho is the perfect healthy summer food. It’s jammed with all manner of vegetables, including the tomatoes and zucchini that tend to overrun our gardens, and traditionally is served cool to help beat the summer heat.

While some people prefer their gazpachos made from raw vegetables, we find that cooking the produce, then chilling it deepens the flavors.

But who wants to head inside to cook in summer?

So we came up with this delicious recipe for grilled gazpacho.

Along with being a low-fat cooking method that won’t heat up the kitchen, grilling vegetables adds a delicious smoky char to the soup.

Make this soup at least several hours and up to a day ahead, then chill until you are ready to enjoy.

Grilled gazpacho

1/2fresh poblano pepper

4large tomatoes, halved

1medium zucchini, halved lengthwise

1medium summer squash, halved lengthwise

1medium red onion, halved

Salt and ground black pepper

2cloves garlic, minced

1/4cup fresh basil

1tablespoon fresh oregano

1medium cucumber, peeled and finely diced

Zest and juice of 1 orange

2tablespoons balsamic vinegar

1/4cup crumbled goat cheese or feta cheese (optional)

Heat the grill to high. Using an oil-soaked paper towel held with tongs, oil the grill grates.

Place the poblano pepper on the grill and cook until it is charred and blackened on all sides. Place the pepper in a paper bag, close the bag and allow the pepper to steam in its own heat for 10 minutes while you grill the other vegetables.

Season the tomatoes, zucchini, summer squash and onion with salt and pepper. Arrange the vegetables on the grill and cook until slightly charred and tender, about 4 to 5 minutes per side. Transfer to a platter and set aside.

Using the paper bag to assist, rub the poblano pepper until all of the charred skin loosens and peels off. Using a paring knife, cut out and discard the core and seeds of the pepper.

In a blender or food processor, working in batches if necessary, puree the poblano, tomatoes, zucchini, summer squash, onion, garlic, basil and oregano. Transfer to a large bowl and allow to cool completely.

When the soup has cooled, stir in the diced cucumber and orange zest and juice. Adjust the seasoning with salt and black pepper. Refrigerate for 2 to 24 hours.

When ready to serve, drizzle each serving with balsamic vinegar and top with a bit of cheese, if using.

Makes 4 servings. Per serving (with goat cheese): 130 calories; 35 calories from fat (27 percent of total calories); 4 g fat (2 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 5 mg cholesterol; 20 g carbohydrate; 7 g protein; 5 g fiber; 190 mg sodium.

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