Gazpacho may taste great chilled, but the best flavors develop if some of the ingredients are heated first. And since it is grilling season, might as well do it right with a bit of fire roasting.
This recipe is particularly flexible and easily accommodates your tastes. If you like more of a raw flavor to your gazpacho, try grilling only half the vegetables. If you enjoy a bit of heat, add a jalapeno to the mix.And if you prefer a thicker gazpacho, add 1/4 cup or so of canned white beans when blending.
Start to finish: 2 1/2 hours (30 minutes active)
1 large red onion, quartered
10 green olives
10 pitted Kalamata olives
4 large whole tomatoes
3 ears corn, husked
Extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup tomato juice
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 clove garlic
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro, plus additional for garnish
Salt and ground black pepper, to taste
Heat a grill to high.
To help the onion quarters hold together during grilling, place them on 1 or more skewers. Thread both varieties of olives onto additional skewers.
Drizzle the tomatoes, corn, onions and olives with a bit of olive oil. Place the vegetables on the grill, then cover and cook. Use tongs to turn the corn, onion quarters and olives every few minutes. Do not turn the tomatoes.
The vegetables likely will cook at different speeds. Remove the corn and olives when all sides have light grill marks. Remove the onion quarters when they are just tender and browned. The tomatoes should be blistered and drizzling juice.
Allow the vegetables to cool enough to hold.
When the vegetables have cooled, use a paring knife to remove and discard the cores of the tomatoes. Use a serrated knife to remove the kernels from the ears of corn. To do this, stand each ear on end and saw downward with the knife.
In a food processor or blender, combine the tomato juice, 1 tablespoon olive oil, lemon juice, garlic and cilantro. Puree until smooth. Add the tomatoes, onion quarters, half of the corn kernels and half of the olives. Puree until chunky smooth.
Transfer the soup to a large serving bowl. Roughly chop the remaining olives, then stir those and the remaining corn kernels into the soup. Season with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate until chilled, about 1 to 2 hours.
When ready to serve, divide the soup between serving bowls and garnish with cilantro and basil.