In case you haven’t figured this out for yourself yet, summer tomatoes are the absolute best. Forget winter tomatoes, or spring tomatoes; summer tomatoes are where it’s at.
Their sweetness is incredible, especially when you’re dealing with the old school heirloom varieties and I do promise you, there is a distinct difference when it comes to flavor. Don’t let their awkward appearance pull one over on you because they’re WAY more flavorful and delicious than those perfectly round tomatoes that you’re getting from your local grocery store that have been shipped to wherever you are from Florida. Unless of course you’re from Florida. In that case, good on you for buying local, but still hunt out the heirloom variety.
Don’t know what heirloom tomatoes are? Okay, fair enough. They’re tomatoes that have been grown using seeds that have been handed down through the generations that retain the characteristics of each tomato species. The tomatoes that you get in the grocery store have been bread to be uniform in shape and size at the sacrifice of flavor. The same is true for other heirloom vegetable varities. Basically the seeds are “pre-industrialized” so the vegetables often grow in a variety of weird, albeit more natural shapes, and they often have a much higher natural sugar content which makes them a lot more palatable.
Don’t believe? Well, you’re going to have to go and do the taste testing yourself, but the extra buck or two you might spend on them are certainly going to be worth it.
Anyway, getting on with it…
In honor of these delicious tomatoes that have been grown in my home garden, along with a bounty of spicy jalapenos, and cool cucumbers, I give you to this recipe for a sexy, spicy, summer gazpacho. You’re going to love this. The flavors are so crisp and clean, yet with the addition of canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, you get a slight smokey flavor that elevates the whole thing to another level. Make this and you’re welcome.
- 5 large heirloom tomatoes; cut into 1/8's
- 2 cucumbers; coarsely chopped
- 1 large onions; sliced
- 1 jalapeno; de-seeded and sliced
- 1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce
- 2 tablespoons of adobo sauce
- 2 lemons; cut into halves
- 1/4 cup of basil
- 1 cup cilantro
- 5 sprigs fresh thyme; cleaned from stems
- Olive oil
- Sherry vinegar
- Salt & pepper
- Place tomatoes, onions, jalapenos, chipotles, and lemons into a baking tray and drizzle with approximately 2 tablespoons of olive oil and about a table spoon of sherry vinegar.
- Set oven to broil and place baking try into the preheated oven. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until vegetables start to brown and char slightly on the edges.
- Once cooled, squeeze the juice form the roasted lemons over the remaining vegetables.
- Add the roasted vegetable mixture, the fresh herbs, and the cucumbers to a blender along with approximately 2 more tablespoons of sherry vinegar and blend until smooth.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add more sherry vinegar for more acidity if needed.
- Chill until soup is completely cold and serve.
- Garnish with a few basil leaves and a drizzle of olive oil or with creme fraiche and buttery croutons.