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bowl of gazpachoIn his recipe for gazpacho, chef Paolo Vasapolli roasts the vegetables before puréeing.

Chilled soup makes most of local produce, says chef

The cold soup gazpacho is refreshing and cool on a late summer day, says Paolo Vasapolli, executive chef in Food and Catering Services.

“The best part is that is uses produce now in peak season here in Essex County,” he adds.

His recipe first roasts the vegetables to bring out their flavour.

Roasted Pepper Gazpacho

Ingredients

  • 4 lb plum tomatoes, halved
  • 5 large peppers, mixed in colour
  • 4 medium-sized red onions
  • ½-cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 cups water, divided
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 3 tbsp sherry vinegar (optional, or subsitute red wine vinegar)
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 English cucumber, peeled, halved lengthwise, finely chopped (about 2 cups)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 450°F.
  2. Place tomatoes on large baking sheet.
  3. Cut four peppers into 1-inch pieces placing them on another baking sheet.
  4. Cut three onions into 1-inch pieces and add to peppers along with the garlic cloves.
  5. Drizzle 1/2 cup oil over vegetables tossing them together. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  6. Roast vegetables until soft and slightly charred, about 50 minutes, switching positions of pans after 25 minutes.
  7. Purée half of vegetables with pan juices in processor until smooth.
  8. Add 1 cup water and purée until very smooth. Transfer mixture to large bowl.
  9. Repeat with remaining vegetables and 1 cup water. Add fresh basil leaves at the end and cover the gazpacho to chill overnight.
  10. Mix remaining 1 cup water, vinegar, and Worcestershire sauce into gazpacho. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Vasapolli recommends a garnish of the cucumber and the remaining pepper and onion, finely diced, topped with a drizzle of olive oil.

Find more recipes — as well as a place to submit your own — on the Healthy Eating website.