Chef Mei Iban’s Tomato Gazpacho
September in Windsor was all about the tomatoes. Many local farmers and grocers have bountiful tomato harvests this year, and are still reaping the rewards of a good growing season.
During a cooking demonstration at the Farmers Market one recent Sunday, Market Chef Mei Ibach shared her recipe for a smooth and kicking soup. Stop by the Farmers Market Oct. 14 when she will demonstrate her recipe for Community Salad.
Heirloom Tomato Gazpacho
6 large heirloom tomatoes, any variety and color, seeded and cubed
1/2 loaf toasted herbs sourdough bread, cut into medium cubes
1 cup whole milk
1/4 cup clarified butter
1 medium red onion, cut into wedges
3 cloves blanched garlic
3/4 English or Armenia cucumber, seeded and cubed
1 1/2 red bell pepper, cored, seeded and cubed
1 1/2 yellow bell pepper, cored, seeded and cubed
1/4 cup fresh chopped cilantro
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
Juice from 1 lemon
1/2 tbsp hot sauce
1/4 cup olive oil
8 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 cup toasted almond, coarsely chopped
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste
Presoak the sourdough bread in 1 cup whole milk.
In a sautee pan, preheat the butter. Over medium heat, lightly cook the onion, garlic and bell peppers for 7 minutes or until they soften.
In a blender, combine the tomatoes, cucumber, sauteed vegetables and puree until smooth, add the bread and continue to pulse the motor for a few seconds. add the cilantro, vinegar, lemon juice, hot sauce, and season with salt and pepper. Pour in olive oil in small increments until mixture is combined.
Transfer into a big bowl and chill in the refrigerator for 1 -2 hours until cold. If you’d like a smoother texture, strain through a fine strainer before chilling.
Divide into small soup bowls, drizzle a few drops of balsamic vinegar, garnish with almonds and cheese. Serve cold.