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Hey guys! Sorry that I’ve been M.I.A for a couple of days.  For my first recipe I have decided to share this gazpacho recipe from Barefoot Contessa’s Foolproof cookbook.  I have made some minor changes and added some minor notes as to how this recipe can be improved.  It is a great dish to serve as a starter on a hot summer day, and I would recommend serving it in small bowls and portions, seeing that is a strong dish and too much of it at once can be way overpowering.  Finally, the leftovers of this recipe make a great salsa and go best with sea salt Beanitos (black bean tortilla chops that you can purchase at your local Whole Foods or health food store)! Bon appetit!

Babette

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Serves 6

  • 2 (28-ounce) cans whole peeled tomatoes
  • 4 scallions
  • 1/4 seedless cucumber, unpeeled and seeds removed
  • 1 large red onion
  • 4 garlic cloves (be warned: the garlic is very strong in this dish.  If you feel you need to add more, though, you may add up to 6 cloves)
  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup olive oil, plus a little extra for the croutons
  • 1/2 teaspoon celery salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 1/2 cups tomato juice (you may also drain the canned tomatoes and take 1 1/2 cups of that juice instead)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 baguette
  • 4 ounces garlic and herb goat cheese

Cut the tomatoes, scallions, cucumber, and red onion into large pieces and place them in a food processor with a steel blade.  Add the garlic and pulse until the soup is thoroughly puréed. Pour the mixture into a large bowl and whisk in the vinegar, olive oil, celery salt, red pepper flakes, tomato paste, tomato juice, about 1 tablespoon salt, and about 1 1/2 teaspoons pepper (if you don’t want it to be too spicy, add the pepper to your liking).  Cover with plastic wrap and chill for 4 hours and overnight.

When ready to serve, preheat broiler and place on the on the top rack 5 to 7 inches from the heat (you may also use a toaster oven on the broiler setting).  Cut 6, 1/2-inch-thick, diagonal slices from the baguette.  Place on a sheet pan, brush with olive oil, and broil for 1 to two minutes on one side.  Turn the slices, spread with the goat cheese, and broil for another minute, or until the bread is toasted and the cheese is warm.  Serve in small portions with the croutons and a drizzle of olive oil.

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