To break in our brand new kitchen in the charming neighborhood of Jebal Weibdeh, Amman, my (new and wonderful) roommate and I ventured out in search of ingredients and inspiration. We came home with bags full of fresh produce and exciting new spices, and plans to make some chilled gazpacho in our shiny new blender.
As we set about cleaning and chopping our ingredients, my eyes strayed over to the pile of pomegranates we had just bought, and inspiration struck. What follows is gazpacho-plus: a mostly-blended refreshing cold soup with a sprinkling of crunchy pomegranates to balance out the salty and sour of the soup with a bit of sweet.
For a very large batch of gazpacho that will feed two people for a week or a large-ish dinner party
You will need:
4 tomatoes, chopped
2 onions, chopped
4 small cucumbers or 2 small ones, chopped
2 green peppers, chopped
A small bunch each of parsley and cilantro, chopped
A tablespoon of basil, chopped
Juice of one lemon
3 cloves of garlic, chopped
About a quart of chicken broth
About a quart of tomato juice
To taste: salt, pepper, cumin
Optional: a splash of tabasco or other hot sauce and/or a splash of honey
And, of course,
The seeds of one pomegranate (for tips on removing pomegranate seeds, see here)
Blend everything except the pomegranate seeds in your blender or food processor (probably in batches, unless you have an especially large food processor). I like to maintain a little bit of texture, but you can blend for longer if you prefer a smoother gazpacho.
Chill for several hours and serve cold with a garnish of pomegranate seeds.