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Saturday, July 30, 2011

Tomatillo Gazpacho with Feta-Olive Relish

Tomatillo Gazpacho with Feta-Olive Relish

Tomatillo Gazpacho with Feta-Olive Relish
by Victoria Challancin

I love the sharp, bright flavor of tomatillos.  So often they are used cooked in recipes, but raw tomatillos shouldn't be overlooked--not in salsas or soups.  Gorgeous in color, definitely tart, dynamically interesting, they can add a new dimension to a variety of dishes when added raw.

I also love soups, as you know.  Recently, I have shared recipes I have used in my cooking classes for Corn Vichyssoise, Curried Sweet Potato Soup, and Chilled Zucchini Soup with Purslane.  All good.  All worthy of blog space.  And today I give you a new favorite:  Tomatillo Gazpacho with Feta-Olive Relish.

The original recipe comes from Eating Well Magazine, where it featured a relish, or salad, accompaniment of olives and shrimp.  Due to menu considerations, I swapped out the shrimp for feta cheese and --wow!  What a soup!  This recipe really delivers.  When my husband tasted it, he immediately requested that  I mark and save it to prepare again.

Cook's Notes:  I doubled this recipe and was glad I did as it was even better really chilled the next day.  I also chose homemade vegetable broth instead of chicken and feta cheese instead of shrimp in the salad part.  We only used two jalapeños for the double batch, which gave a nice kick without overpowering the soup--but the amount of heat is completely up to you.

If you are looking for an easy, unusual, healthy chilled soup for hot days, definitely give this one a try!

Tomatillo Gazpacho with Feta-Olive Relish
Makes 4 servings.

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 cucumber, peeled, halved lengthwise and seeded
1 avocado, halved and pitted
1 pound tomatillos, husks removed, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 - 2 jalapeño chiles, seeded and chopped
2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
200g feta or cotija cheese (or substitute 12 oz cooked shrimp)
1/4 cup green olives, chopped
2 scallions, sliced

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a small nonstick skillet over medium heat.  Add garlic and cook, stirring, until just beginning to brown, 1 to 2 minutes.  Remove from the heat.

Coarsely chop half the cucumber and half the avocado and place in a food processor.  Add tomatillos, bell pepper, jalapeño to tate and the garlic.  Process until smooth.  Transfer to a large bowl; stir in broth, sugar, and salt.

Dice the remaining cucumber and avocado and place in a medium bowl.  Add cheese or shrimp, olives, and scallions.  Drizzle with the remaining 1 tablespoon oil; gently toss to combine.

Ladle the gazpacho into bowls and top each portion with about 3/4 cup of the salad.


Tomatillo Gazpacho with Feta-Olive Relish

I like to end my posts with random photos of plants or just things that appeal to me.  This photo is of a stained glass panel found in the Cluny Museum in Paris (the Museum of the Middle Ages).

©Victoria Challancin.  All Rights Reserved.


Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

This would be sublime for the upcoming Summer months Victoria! It looks great and I can imagine that the feta and olive relish really adds a lot of flavour :)

Ben said...

I love tomatillo and I love gazpacho so this makes a lot of sense! Thanks for sharnig :)