I love the Spanish soup gazpacho. In fact, I love all kinds of fresh vegetable purées when my garden is in full bloom. This is a delicious twist on gazpacho. The soup is seasoned, then bound with a little gelatin. It makes a great seasonal starter.
1/2 cup fine fresh bread crumbs
1 teaspoon finely minced garlic
2 tablespoons virgin olive oil
3/4 cup peeled, seeded, and finely diced tomatoes
3/4 cup peeled, seeded, and finely diced cucumber
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons finely chopped scallion
4 tablespoons cored, seeded, and finely diced sweet red pepper
1/2 cup tomato juice
1 teaspoon sugar
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil, loosely packed
1 envelope granular gelatin
3 egg whites (about 1/3 cup)
1. Put the bread crumbs, garlic, and oil into the container of a food processor or electric blender. Blend thoroughly.
2. Add 1/2 cup of diced tomatoes, 1/2 cup diced cucumber, the vinegar, chopped scallion, diced red pepper, the tomato juice, sugar, and half the basil. Blend as smoothly as possible. Scrape the liquid into a mixing bowl and add the remaining tomatoes, cucumber, and basil. Blend well.
3. Pour about 1/4 cup of the sauce into a pan and add the gelatin. Cook, stirring, over very low heat until the gelatin dissolves. Combine the rest of the gazpacho with the gelatin mixture and blend well. Let cool but do not allow the mixture to set.
4. Beat the egg whites until they stand in soft peaks. Scrape them into the gazpacho mixture and blend well with a whisk.
5. Lightly oil the inside of 4 individual half-cup soufflé dishes, ramekins, or other molds. Spoon or ladle equal portions of the gazpacho mixture into each mold. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. To serve, run a knife around the inside of each mold. Set the molds briefly in a basin of warm water. Wipe off the bottom of the molds, and invert each on a plate.
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Excerpted from Cooking with the 60-Minute Gourmet: by Pierre Franey and Bryan Miller, with an introduction by Jacques Pepin Copyright© 1999 by Pierre Franey and Bryan Miller. Excerpted by permission of Times Books, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.