Easy Gazpacho & Goat Cheese Croutons

Serves 6 Beginner

Photo: Quentin Bacon

  • 2 (28-ounce) cans whole peeled tomatoes, drained
  • 4 scallions
  • 1/4 seedless cucumber, unpeeled and seeds removed
  • 1 large red onion
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup good olive oil, plus extra for toasts and drizzling
  • 1/2 teaspoon celery salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1½ cups tomato juice, preferably Sacramento
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 baguette
  • 4 ounces garlic and herb goat cheese, such as Montrachet

Cut the tomatoes, scallions, cucumber, and onion in large pieces and place them in a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Add the garlic and pulse until the soup is coarsely puréed. Place it in a large bowl and whisk in the vinegar, olive oil, celery salt, red pepper flakes, tomato paste, tomato juice, 1 tablespoon salt, and 1½ teaspoons pepper. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for 4 hours or overnight.

 When ready to serve, preheat the broiler and place the top rack 5 to 7 inches from the heat. Cut 6 (1/2-inch-thick) diagonal slices from the baguette. Place on a sheet pan, brush with olive oil, and broil for 1 to 2 minutes on one side. Turn the slices, spread with the goat cheese, and broil for another minute, until the cheese is warm and the bread is toasted. Serve big bowls of cold soup with a warm goat cheese crouton and a drizzle of olive oil.

Copyright 2012, Barefoot Contessa Foolproof by Ina Garten, Clarkson Potter/Publishers, All Rights Reserved

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