It’s kind of a family joke. My grandma, who was an otherwise decent cook, would indoctrinate new members of the family by serving them cold fruit soup. No one is quite sure where she got the idea to offer these unusual concoctions, but I think she was just hoping to make a good impression. Or maybe it was a test. My husband was welcomed to the fold with a bowl of chilled cherry soup. Sounds lovely, right? Not so much. The sweet brew had a murky milky base and the cherries were still plump with pits, which had to be indelicately spit into a napkin. Ah, maybe that was the test! Cold soup has come a long way and this mouthwatering gazpacho is proof of that. The interesting ingredient here is tomatillo–also technically a fruit, but a savory one that adds an unique twist to this no-cook recipe. Tangy, creamy and bright, this chilled green wonder is perfect for right now.
While many of the ingredients here are similar to the traditional gazpacho I’m used to making, I found this recipe to be a bit unusual. The components are set aside to stew together before you blend it up. This allows the bread (which gives body to the soup) and the vegetables to soften and start to break down in the acidic dressing of lime juice, vinegar and yogurt.
Begin by prepping all your green vegetables: husk and quarter the tomatillos; seed and chop the green pepper and jalapeños; peel, seed and chop the cucumber; chop white and light green parts of the scallions. Tear crusted bread into pieces and set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together white wine vinegar, lime juice, yogurt and olive oil.
Add the chopped vegetables and torn bread. Squeeze garlic cloves through a press and add to bowl. Season with kosher salt. Stir until all is coated with the dressing; cover and refrigerate for 4 hours.
In a food processor or blender, process until thoroughly puréed. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.
In a small bowl, mix 1/2 cup yogurt with water, a tablespoon at a time, until thin enough to drizzle. Serve soup and garnish each bowl with yogurt sauce and a sprinkling of piment d’espelette (ground Spanish chili pepper) or hot paprika. Add a final splash of extra virgin olive oil.
Adapted from Public Kitchen and Bar/bon appétit
1 green bell pepper
1 hothouse cucumber
1 small French or ciabatta bread, crust removed
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 cup plain 2% Greek yogurt
1/2 cup olive oil
2 garlic cloves
1/2 cup plain 2% Greek yogurt
piment d’espelette or hot paprika
extra virgin olive oil