Three soup bases provide a foundation for a variety of gazpachos

August 18, 1993|By Elaine Strong | Elaine Strong,Colorado Springs Gazette Telegraph

Beset by the midsummer doldrums? A Spanish fiesta, set in your own home, will whisk them away.

Set the table with tropical colors and the mood with flamenco-guitar music, and serve your guests a buffet that features gazpacho -- Spain's savory cold soup.

Offer three distinctly flavored soup bases and a variety of garnishes from which your guests can create a gazpacho to suit their individual tastes.

One day before the party, prepare three soup bases: Andalusian broth, tomato and cream. Refrigerate overnight. When ready to serve, pour each of the soup bases into a chilled bowl set into a larger bowl full of crushed ice. Keeping the soup cold throughout dinner is very important.

The morning of the party, assemble the vegetables, you'll offer as garnishes, and wash and seed them. Then chop, dice or slice them, place in separate bowls, and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Garnish vegetables can include red onions, green onions, ripe tomatoes, seedless grapes, sweet bell peppers, mild and hot chili peppers, cucumbers, avocados, celery, jicama and zucchini. Other garnishes can include garlic croutons, roasted peanuts and roasted almonds.

This tomato base recipe is from "Soups for All Seasons" by Nava Atlas (Adam Enterprises, $9.95).

Tomato base

Serves 6

1 14-ounce can plum tomatoes with liquid

2/3 large cucumber, cut into chunks

2/3 large green or red bell pepper, cut into chunks

2 bunches scallions, cut into several pieces

handful of parsley sprigs

1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill, or 1 teaspoon dried dill

In a food processor or blender, puree all ingredients until fairly smooth. Transfer puree to a serving container. Stir in enough tomato juice to give the soup a slightly thick consistency.

This broth recipe is from Sunset magazine:

Andalusian broth

Makes 6 quarts

6 quarts regular-strength chicken broth

2 quarts water

3 pounds beef or veal bones

2 pounds bony chicken parts

2 large chopped onions

pared peel of 3 lemons

1/2 cup sherry vinegar

Place all ingredients in a 10- to 12-quart pan. Bring to boil over high heat. Cover and simmer 2 hours. Pour broth through a

colander into a large bowl; discard residue. Rinse pan; line colander with clean, damp cheesecloth; pour broth through cloth into pan. Cover and chill until fat on surface is hard (8 hours or up to 3 days). Discard fat.

This creamy recipe is from Gourmet magazine:

Gazpacho blanco

Serves 4

2 cucumbers, peeled, seeded and cut into chunks

1 cup chicken broth

1 cup sour cream or plain yogurt

2 small cloves garlic, chopped

4 to 6 teaspoons white wine vinegar or to taste

salt to taste

Combine all ingredients in processor or blender; mix until smooth. Serve chilled with garnishes.

Gazpacho

Serves 6

1/4 cup green bell pepper, seeded anddiced

1/4 cup yellow bell pepper, seeded and diced

1/4 cup red bell pepper, seeded and diced

1 New Mexican chili pepper

1/4 cucumber, peeled and seeded

1/2 cup red onion, diced

1 to 2 chipoltes in adobo, minced

3 cups tomato juice

3 cups V-8 juice

1 lime, juiced

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 teaspoons cumin, ground

1/4 cup olive oil

4 corn tortillas, cut into thin strips and fried crisp

cilantro, snipped

In a blender, combine all ingredients except tortillas and cilantro Chill 1 to 2 hours. Serve in chilled bowls; garnish with fried tortilla strips and cilantro.

This Southwestern gazpacho was developed by sous chef Tom Cross of La Pazuela, a Mexican-style restaurant at La Fonda, "The Inn at the End of the Santa Fe Trail." It is from "Santa Fe Recipe" (Tierra Publications, $13.95).

Avocado gazpacho soup

Serves 6-8

1 large cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced

1 large avocado, diced

1 large tomato, diced

1 medium green bell pepper, diced

1 medium red bell pepper, diced

1 cup celery, diced

1/4 cup green onions, sliced

1/4 cup white wine

1/4 cup red wine vinegar

2 cups beef broth

4 cups crushed tomatoes

1 tablespoon fresh cilantro

1 teaspoon salt, or to taste

1/2 teaspoon pepper, or to taste

1 -- Tabasco, or to taste

Place all ingredients in a large glass or porcelain bowl; mix together. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

This raspberry-pink gazpacho is from Crescent Dragonwagon's "Dairy Hollow House Soup & Bread: A Country Inn Cookbook" (Workman Publishing, $12.95 paperback).

Gazpacho rosa

1 can (20 ounces) whole beets with liquid

1 cup buttermilk

1 cup plain yogurt

1 cup chicken stock or any well flavored chicken or vegetable stock

1/2 cup cranberry juice

1 1/2 tablespoons raspberry vinegar

1 teaspoon sugar (2 tablespoons to 1/4 cup if cranberry juice is unsweetened)

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

salt to taste

1 large red ripe tomato, unpeeled, diced small

1/4 small red onion, finely chopped

1 cucumber, peeled, seeded and finely diced

1 red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded and diced

1 green bell pepper, stemmed, seeded and diced

2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill or 1 scant tablespoon dried

sour cream or yogurt for garnish

Dill sprigs for garnish

In a food processor or blender, combine all beet juice and half the beets with buttermilk, yogurt, stock, cranberry juice, vinegar, sugar, cayenne and salt. Blend until smooth. Transfer to a bowl.

Dice remaining beets; stir into soup. Stir in remaining vegetables and dill. Chill at least 4 hours. Garnish with dollop of sour cream and sprig of dill.

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