Recipe - Grilled Gazpacho

Method:Direct grilling
Serves 8

  • 4 scallions, trimmed
  • 2 to 3 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 medium red onion, peeled and quartered
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 inch thick slices of country style white bread or French bread
  • 5 vine-ripened tomatoes (about 2-1/2 pounds)
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 1 cucumber, peeled
  • 1/4 cup mixed chopped fresh herbs (including basil, oregano, tarragon, and/or flatleaf parsley)
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar (or to taste)
  • 1/2 to 1 cup cold water, or as needed
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper

You'll also need: 2 cups wood chips (oak or hickory), soaked in water to cover for 1 hour, then drained.

1. Set up your grill for direct grilling and preheat the grill to high.

2. Finely chop the scallion greens and set aside for garnish. Skewer the scallion whites on bamboo skewers or toothpicks. Skewer the garlic cloves the same way. Lightly brush the scallion whites, garlic, and onion quarters with olive oil. (Save the bulk of the olive oil for flavoring the soup-see below.)

3. If using a gas grill, place the wood chips in the smoker box or a smoker pouch and run the grill on high until you see smoke. If using a charcoal grill, toss the chips on the coals.

4. Grill the scallions, garlic, and onions until nicely browned, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate to cool. Grill the bread slices until darkly toasted, about 2 minutes per side. Set aside. Grill the tomatoes and bell peppers until the skins are black and charred, 2 minutes per side for the tomatoes, 3 to 4 minutes per side for the peppers. Transfer to a plate to cool. Scrape the charred skins off the tomatoes and peppers with a paring knife. (Don't worry about removing every last bit.) Core and seed the peppers.

5. Place the scallion whites, garlic, onions, toast, tomatoes, bell peppers, cucumber, herbs, vinegar, and remaining olive oil in a blender and puree until smooth. Thin the gazpacho to pourable consistency with water if needed and season with salt and pepper.

6. The gazpacho can be served now, but it will taste even better if you chill it for 1 hour to allow the flavors to blend. Just before serving, correct the seasoning, adding salt or vinegar to taste. To serve, ladle the gazpacho into bowls and sprinkle with the chopped scallion greens.

© 2006 Steven Raichlen | site design Benjamin Wilchfort