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Saturday, June 23, 2012

Pineapple Gazpacho

 Pineapple Gazpacho

Pineapple Gazpacho
by Victoria Challancin

If I take exception to all sorts of vegetable spreads being called "hummus" when they contain no chickpeas (remember:  hummus simply means "chickpea" in Arabic), then surely I should not allow myself to call this delicious summer soup "gazpacho" simply because it is served chilled with some garnishes.  Yet, I do.  I'll rely on Ralph Waldo Emerson's quote "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds..." as my excuse.

I love to serve chilled soups when the weather is hot here in Mexico.  First of all, we have a glorious array of fresh fruits and vegetables available year round.  Secondly, they are just pretty to serve and tasty as well.

I wrote about the history of Spain's famed gazpachos here, and have offered several cold soups, both savory and sweet in the following posts:

This particular "gazpacho" recipe comes from The Washington Post, who adapted it from Edible:  A Celebration of Local Foods, by Tracey Rider and Carole Topalian.  It relies on no broth, rather it simply uses pureed fruits and vegetables for its base:  pineapple, yellow bell pepers, onion, and cucumber--plus 1/4 cup of water or pineapple juice are added to thin the soup if needed.  To round out the flavors, a touch of rice wine vinegar, hot pepper sauce, and a wee bit of brown sugar are added.  Garnishes include chopped both red and bell peppers, cucumber, jalapeño chile, and cilantro--plus, I added chopped jícama.

Cook's Notes:  You can be sure that I didn't bother to measure the ingredients carefully.  While I am certain that the recipe is perfect as written, this seems to me to be one of those glorious melding of mellifluous ingredients that just seem to go together in whatever amounts most appeal to the cook.  I also added chopped jícama, just because I love its sweet crunch.

Recipe:  Pineapple Gazpacho
(Recipe from The Washington Post, adapted from Edible:  A Celebration of Local Foods by Tracey Ryder and Carole Topalian)

Make Ahead:  The soup needs to be refrigerated for at least 2 hours and no more than 24 hours.  The flavor will improve with a day's refrigeration.

For the gazpacho:
1 ripe pineapple (about 4 pounds), peeled, cored, and cut into chunks (about 4 1/2 cups)
About 12/ medium yellow bell pepper, seeded, chopped (1/2 cup)
1/3 medium red onion, chopped (1/3 cup)
1 cup peeled seedless (English) cucumber, chopped
2 teaspoons unseasoned rice wine vinegar, plus more as needed
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more as needed
1/8 teaspoon ground white pepper, plus more as needed
1 teaspoon light brown sugar (optional)

For the garnish:
About 1/4 medium red bell pepper seeded and finely chopped (1/4 cup)
About 1/4 medium yellow bell pepper, seeded and finely chopped (1/4 cup)
About 1/4 medium yellow bell pepper, seeded and finely chopped (1/4 cup)
4-inch length of peeled seedless (English ) cucumber, finely chopped (1/2 cup)
One medium jalapeño chile, stemmed, seeded, and finely chopped
Leaves from 2 stems of cilantro or mint, finely chopped (1 tablespoon), optional

To make the gazpacho:  Process the pineapple in the bowl of a food processor until smooth; transfer to a large nonreactive bowl, preferably glass or stainless steel.  Taste; if the fruit puree is not very sweet, add the optional brown sugar.

Using the same food processor bowl, add the yellow bell pepper, red onion, cucumber, vinegar, salt, and white pepper.  Process until smooth, then add the mixture to the pineapple puree in the bowl and stir to combine.  Cover and refrigerate for 2 to 24 hours.

For the garnish:  Combine the garnish ingredients in a bowl.

To assemble:  Stir in the pineapple juice or water, 1 tablespoon at a time, into the pureed gazpacho to reach the desired consistency.  Taste and adjust the seasoning as needed.

Divide among individual bowls; top each portion with the garnish.  Serve immediately.

Parting Shot:

Jenny's pig by the wonderful, late Danny Brennan

©Victoria Challancin.  All Rights Reserved.
Recipes, like life, are meant to be shared, but please ask before using text or photos.  Thanks!


janet @ the taste space said...

What a neat recipe. I made mango gazpacho last year and this looks like a great way to cool down in the summer heat. :)

Hotly Spiced said...

What an incredibly refreshing dish to have on a beautiful hot day. It's so appealing with all its pretty colours - and I think fine to call gazpacho! xx

Eha said...

Huh? Yes well, gazpacho lifelong has meant that delightful classic Spanish soup for the summer! Not only does this one sound more than somewhat different, but scrolling down your column I realize other 'alternate' ones have come afore and I better put my 'student cap' on :) ! With thanks for the lesson and very much looking forwards to warmer days here :) !

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

Hehe guilty as charged. I called a dip hummus when it didn't have chickpeas-oops! :P I hope you'll forgive me?

Victoria at Flavors of the Sun said...

I'm just being silly--laughing at myself, if anything. You are forgiven--indeed.

Chompchomp said...

Wow, pineapple gazpacho....I had never heard of but it sounds so logically refreshing and delicious. We are going through our only short lived cold snap over here in Perth so Ill wait until it warms up for this one!

Lynne Daley said...

Great recipe! I've made a pineapple salsa before, but not a gazpacho. I loved your styling for this soup!

Ben said...

I know these are not real gazpacho, but saying pineapple or mango "gazpacho" just sounds fun! said...

Callet it what you looks and sounds refreshing. I look at the picture of the martini glass and it reminds me of my presentation. We have good taste!

Joan Nova said...

This month's challenge for the food blogger cooking group I belong to (5 Star) is 'chilled soups' and I'm sure this would have been a big hit if I'd seen it before I made mine ... but I will definitely try it at some point. I think it would a surprising and delicious appetizer for a summer dinner party.

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