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Strawberry and Fennel Gazpacho
I know the recipe calls for a green pepper, but I didn't have one, so I substituted a cucumber and 2 red jalapenos (deseeded). My version was slightly spicy, just what I was craving.
Also, for once in my life I did not have any stale bread on hand. So I tore up a nice fresh loaf of ciabbata (no crust) and toasted it in a 350 degree oven until dry and slightly browned. Works like a charm.
- 1 cup cubed day-old country bread, crusts removed
- 2 pounds ripe, flavorful tomatoes, seeded
- 2 pounds strawberries, hulled
- 1 large green bell pepper, seeded and diced (or substitute 1 cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced, plus 2 red jalapeno peppers, seeded and diced
- 1/4 of a medium sized fennel bulb, thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 1/4 cups water
- 2 medium garlic cloves, minced
- kosher or sea salt, to taste
- Set aside 2 Tbsp. diced strawberries, 2 Tbsp. diced tomatoes, and 2 Tbsp fennel fronds for garnish. (As you can see, I forgot to do this).
- Soak dried bread with enough water to cover, for 15 minutes. Squeeze out the water, and place the bread in a large bowl.
- Place strawberries, tomatoes, bread, bell pepper (or cucumber/jalapeno), and fennel in a large bowl. Toss and let sit for about 15 minutes. (Note from Janna: she never takes time to do this. She is not the sitting type).
- Puree ingredients in a food processor in 2-3 batches, adding olive oil through the feeding tube as you go.
- Mix pureed ingredients with water, garlic, and the rest of the olive oil. The soup should have the consistency of a smoothie. Taste, and add salt. Keep adding salt until it tastes right to you.
- Chill in an airtight container in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours. It will also be perfect if left to chill overnight.
- Serve garnished with reserved chopped strawberries, tomatoes and fennel fronds. Drizzle with olive oil. A diced avocado also makes a nice garnish.