Underwhelmed by gazpacho? Then you haven’t tried this zingy version
The first time I remember eating gazpacho was at my wedding rehearsal luncheon. I’m a June bride and a cool summer soup seemed like a refreshing way to start the meal. After taking a few polite spoonfuls, I stared at an utterly forgettable bowl of oddly colored red juice before pushing it aside. Thankfully, this was not an omen for my pending nuptials or my marriage.
Fast forward more than a decade to another scorching Texas summer, when I stumbled across an intriguing spin on the classic recipe. All that this gazpacho shares with the underwhelming version from my past is its name. This cool, green zingy soup’s flavor is bright and crisp, thanks in part to the squeeze of lime juice. And the addition of the olive oil makes this gazpacho silky and satisfying.
I like to serve it from a pitcher into frosty tumblers garnished with a meaty Gulf shrimp. Or pack it in a thermos and take it on your next beach picnic. Whatever way you choose, the soup is best served as cold as possible.
Tomatillo Gazpacho with Roasted Shrimp
For the gazpacho:
14.5 ounces low-sodium chicken broth
1 pound tomatillos, husked, rinsed and cut into medium dice
1 medium clove garlic, minced
1⁄4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 large avocado, cut into small dice
1 jalapeño, seeds removed, if desired, thinly sliced
1⁄2 seedless English cucumber, cut into small dice
1⁄2 large red bell pepper, cut into small dice
1⁄4 small red onion, finely diced
2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped (optional)
1 tablespoons lime juice; more as needed
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
For the shrimp:
1 pound (31- to 35-count) large shrimp
1 tablespoon good olive oil
1⁄4 teaspoon kosher salt
1⁄4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1⁄4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Heat the broth in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the tomatillos and garlic, bring to a boil, reduce the heat and let simmer until the tomatillos are cooked through, but still hold their shape, about 1 minute.
Let cool about 10 minutes and then purée the mixture in a powerful blender or Vitamix. With the motor running, slowly add the olive oil in a steady stream so it emulsifies.
Pour the mixture into a nonreactive glass bowl and refrigerate to cool.
When the mixture has cooled, stir in the avocado, cucumber, bell pepper, onion, cilantro, jalapeño and lime juice. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
Refrigerate gazpacho for at least 1 hour, or preferably overnight.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400 F.
Peel and devein the shrimp, leaving the tails on. Place them on a sheet pan and toss with the olive oil, salt, pepper and pepper flakes. Spread them in a single layer and roast for 8 to 10 minutes, just until pink, firm and cooked through. Set aside to cool.
Before serving, taste the gazpacho and adjust the seasoning with more lime juice, salt and pepper, as needed.
Ladle the gazpacho into individual serving bowls or pour it into chilled glass tumblers. Garnish with shrimp. Serve immediately.
Pro tip: Make this gazpacho the night before you plan to serve it so that flavors have plenty of time to marry.