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Gazpacho Verde

Gazpacho Verde
Tomatillos stand in for the ripe red tomatoes that are the usual base for this cold summer soup from Spain. Toasted walnuts take the place of the bread that thickens the soup. Green tomatoes make an interesting substitute for the tomatillos. For a sweet flavor boost, roast 6 to 8 peeled garlic cloves along with the tomatillos and puree them with the other ingredients.

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. tomatillos, husks removed
  • 1 yellow onion, sliced
  • 2 jalapeño chilies, halved and seeded
  • 1/4 cup walnuts
  • 1 green bell pepper, seeded and coarsely chopped
  • 1 English (hothouse) cucumber, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1 Tbs. minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Cayenne pepper, to taste
  • 1 jicama, peeled and diced

Directions:

Preheat an oven to 375°F. Lightly oil a baking sheet.

Place the tomatillos, onion slices and jalapeños on the prepared baking sheet. Roast until lightly browned and softened, 18 to 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool.

Reduce the oven temperature to 350°F. Spread the walnuts on another ungreased baking sheet and toast until fragrant and just beginning to brown, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool.

Place the cooled vegetables and nuts in a blender or food processor along with the bell pepper, cucumber, garlic, olive oil, lime juice and parsley. Process until smooth. Transfer to a nonaluminum bowl and season with salt, black pepper and cayenne pepper. Cover and refrigerate for 2 to 3 hours.

Ladle into chilled bowls and garnish each serving with a spoonful of diced jicama. Serve immediately.
Serves 6.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Lifestyles Series, Vegetarian for All Seasons, by Pamela Sheldon Johns (Time-Life Books, 1998).