Coffee Gazpacho: A delicious twist on a classic summer soup

A few days ago I came across a recipe for a Bloody Leroy, a cousin of the Bloody Mary that involves a combination of black coffee and tomatoes. I haven’t yet tried the beverage, but it did inspire me to add some stove top espresso to the gazpacho I made over the weekend. The resulting chilled tomato soup didn’t taste obviously of coffee (which is a good thing), but the added java did lend the mixture a complexity in flavor and a hint of smokiness. I’ll definitely be trying it again.

Coffee Gazpacho

Let the mixture sit for at least an hour so that the flavors can blend– if possible, overnight is best though. Just remember, the soup will get spicier the longer it sits, so don’t over do it with hot peppers. Use the best tomatoes you can– preferably from a farmer’s market or your own garden. The soup depends on their flavor.

INGREDIENTS

  • 6-8 ripe tomatoes
  • 1 cucumber, peeled and diced
  • 1/2 cup black coffee (I used stove top espresso made in a Brikka Bialetti but I’m sure any coffee will work)
  • 2 cups of stale, crusty bread, cubed
  • 1-2 scotch bonnet peppers, diced (or other spicy peppers– adjust according to how spicy you want it)
  • 1 cup of scallions, chopped
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic, smashed and diced
  • 1 bell pepper, seeds removed, diced
  • 1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce (use Annie’s or another veggie kind to make veg/ vegan)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 cup of cilantro, rinsed and chopped (plus more for garnish)
  • Sea Salt and Pepper to taste

Place the cucumber and bread cubes in a food processor or blender. Cut the tomatoes in half, and squeeze each half into the cucumber-bread mixture. Throw the extra pulp and skin into the mixture as well. Add the coffee, and pulse until blended but still chunky. Add the hot peppers, garlic, scallions, bell pepper, worcestershire, cumin and cilantro to the mix. Pulse a few times to blend to your desired consistency. I like the mixture to remain somewhat chunky. (In fact, if you like it really chunky, you can reserve 1-2 tomatoes, diced, 1/4 of the cucumber, and half of the pepper mixture, and simply stir it all in after the rest is blended.) Place in a covered bowl, and let chill in the refrigerator for one hour- overnight. Garnish with additional chopped cilantro and grilled or toasted bread. Serve cold.

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