Seafood Gazpacho

Makes 6 1/2 cups, 4 servings
Hands-On Time: 20 minutes
Total Preparation Time: 30 minutes

Suggested Accompaniments
Grilled vegetables, drizzled with olive oil and topped with feta

1/4 cup Garlic Croutons (recipe follows, add preparation time) or store-bought garlic-flavored croutons
6-inch piece seedless (English) cucumber
1 large green bell pepper
1 garlic clove
3 cups canned tomato-clam juice, chilled
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon Tabasco
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 pound cooked, shelled, and de-veined medium shrimp
1/2 pound lump crabmeat

1. Make the Garlic Croutons. Coarsely chop enough of the cucumber with the skin left on, and the bell pepper, to make 1/2 cup of each. Finely chop the rest (about 1 cup each.) Smash the garlic and remove the skin.

2. Combine 1 cup tomato-clam juice, the coarsely chopped cucumber and bell pepper, the lemon juice, olive oil, vinegar, sugar, garlic, and hot sauce in a blender. Blend until the vegetables are pureed. Stir in the remaining 2 cups tomato-clam juice. Add 1 teaspoon salt and black pepper to taste.

3. Quarter the shrimp crosswise. Combine the tomato mixture, shrimp, crabmeat, and the remaining cucumber and bell pepper in a glass or metal bowl. Set the bowl into a bowl of ice and water for 10 minutes to chill the soup.

4. To serve, divide the chilled soup among 4 large chilled seafood cocktail glasses or soup plates and top with the croutons.

Garlic Croutons
Makes 1 1/2 cups
Hands-on time: 10 minutes
Total preparation time: 25 to 30 minutes

Preheat the oven to 300˚ F. Trim the crusts from 2 slices firm white bread (about 3 ounces) and cut the bread into 3/4-inch squares. Combine 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, 2 pressed garlic cloves (about 2 teaspoons), 1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika, and 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt in a small bowl. Add the bread and toss until the pieces are evenly coated. Spread out the croutons on a large, ungreased rimmed baking sheet and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the bread squares are crisp and beginning to brown. Let cool.

Cook’s Notes
The origins of gazpacho are widely debated but it is generally agreed that it hails from Andalusia, the southernmost province in Spain. It’s often served with bread or croutons… in fact, the word gazpacho comes from an Arabic word meaning “soaked bread” and it’s believed that its origins lie in bread soaked in vinegar. (New York Times)

Tomato clam juice can be found in the canned juice section of any major supermarket. It’s a drink made of reconstituted tomato juice concentrate flavored with spices and clam broth. It is also referred to colloquially as “clamato juice.” Clamato was produced in its current form beginning in 1966 by the Duffy-Mott company in Hamlin, New York, by two employees who wanted to create a Manhattan clam chowder style cocktail by combining tomato juice and clam broth with spices.

Jenn’s boiled shrimp (a foolproof method from my sous chef at Gourmet):
Bring a pot of highly salted water to a boil. Add fresh peeled and de-veined shrimp and simmer until the shrimp turn color and are just cooked through (cut one open to make sure it is not translucent in the center), 3 to 4 minutes (I usually cook what are referred to as large shrimp, so adjust the timing if your shrimp are smaller or larger). Drain the shrimp and transfer immediately to a bowl of ice and water and let chill for 10 minutes. Drain, pat dry, and use in whatever recipe you are making.

The great thing about this soup, is that you could substitute any kind of seafood or any other protein, such as chicken, pork or beef for that matter, because the base is super flavorful!

Chill glasses or soup plates in fridge or even the freezer prior to serving, to keep the soup cool during dinner.

This is portable soup for a picnic – pack it up in a thermos.

Homemade croutons are very easy to make. (And a good way to use bread that’s going stale!) You can also purchase store bought croutons to save time. I usually suggest some sort of starch to go with every soup you make, to make it a little more substantial.


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