For those of you keeping track: I will accept tomatoes when they are cooked or in juice form. And I’ve just learned, for the first time, that I can also tolerate them when they are raw but pulverized into gazpacho.
For a long time, I thought gazpacho was really just watery salsa, and it never much appealed to me. But every now and then, I’d see someone order gazpacho and get a bowl of something altogether different—smooth, velvety, and bright orange, not a chunk of tomato in sight. Eventually, I learned that this is proper Andalusian gazpacho, made with bread and olive oil and then carefully strained. It’s a somewhat finicky process, but absolutely worth the effort.
Unrelated: Apparently there is a hot-dog stand in Chicago called Felony Franks (“home of the misdemeanor weiner [sic]”). I think I have no choice but to go there.
From Serious Eats
Note: I’m reporting this recipe in full as I made it, but I think you can probably skip the freezing-and-thawing steps—unless you are, indeed, a very serious eater, as well as much more patient than I am.
3 pounds (about 4 large) very ripe tomatoes, cored and cut into rough 1-inch chunks
1/2 pound (about 1 small) cucumber, peeled, seeded, and cut into rough 1-inch chunks
1/3 pound (about 1 small) small red onion, peeled and cut into rough 1-inch chunks
1/3 pound (about 1 medium) green or red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and cut into rough 1-inch chunks
2 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more to taste
4 ounces (about 2 slices) white sandwich, French, or Italian bread, crusts removed, torn into rough 1-inch pieces (see note)
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for serving
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar, plus more for serving
2 tablespoons finely minced chives
Freshly ground black pepper
Combine tomatoes, cucumber, onion, pepper, garlic, and salt in a large bowl and toss to coat thoroughly. Let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes. Drain juices into a large bowl and add the bread. Transfer the drained vegetables to a rimmed baking sheet and place in freezer until vegetables are frozen, about 30 minutes.
Remove vegetables from freezer and allow to sit at room temperature until mostly thawed, about 30 minutes. Transfer vegetables and all their juices from the pan to bowl with soaked bread.
Working in two batches as necessary, blend vegetables, juice, and bread at high speed, slowly drizzling olive oil and sherry vinegar into blender as it blends. Strain soup through a fine mesh strainer into a large bowl [note: the straining process took much longer than I expected]. Season to taste with salt and black pepper. Serve, drizzling each bowl with olive oil, a few spirnkles of sherry vinegar, extra cracked black pepper, and chives. Gazpacho can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.