Gazpacho with Tapenade

This classic cold soup from Spain with a dash of Tabasco is accompanied by a stuffed tomato with basil-tossed veggies.

Preparation Time: 20 minutes              

Cooking Time: 30 minutes

Baking time: 15 minutes

Serves: Four

Ingredients:

> 1 red pepper, chopped     > 1 shallot, chopped

> 30 ml olive oil      > 1 egg yolk     > 10 tomatoes      > 1 drop Tabasco

> Ice cubes, as needed     > Salt and pepper, to taste      > 300 g Gouda cheese, diced

> 30 ml heavy cream       >½ bunch chives, chopped      > 60 g black olive tapenade

> 1 cucumber, chopped      > ½ green pepper, chopped and blanched      >1 zucchini, chopped and blanched

> 1 bunch celery, chopped and blanched      > 4 basil leaves, chopped fine

Method:

1) To make the gazpacho, blend half the red pepper with the shallots, olive oil, egg yolk, five tomatoes, Tabasco and enough ice cubes to make a fine puree. Continue until the liquid has emulsified. Season with salt and pepper.

2) Dice the Gouda cheese and mix into the cream to get a rich emulsion. Add chives and season with salt and pepper. Mix in the olive oil tapenade, and whisk into a smooth paste. Combine with the gazpacho. Set aside.

3) Peel, deseed and chop another tomato. Mix with the remaining chopped red pepper, the cucumber, green pepper, zucchini, and celery. Toss with chopped basil and season with salt and pepper. Set aside.

4) Peel the other four tomatoes, cut off the tops, hollow them out, and stuff them with the vegetable mix. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes at 120° C.

5) Place one stuffed tomato in the centre of each shallow bowl, and replace the tops. Surround this centerpiece with the creamy gazpacho. Serve immediately.

(Courtesy: Executive chef Aman Tandon from The Pride Hotels, Ahmedabad)

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