I vowed to Branch that I would post yesterday, but alas, a Memorial Day filled with day-drinking and bug bites rendered me useless by sunset. This morning I woke up hot and hungry and could imagine no better remedy than my favorite summer gazpacho, inspired largely by the Wildflour in Roanoke. I’m a big fan of cold soups. Lately at Millie’s I’ve served a chilled fennel with shrimp (inspired by a delicious soup Ryan used to make at the FC,) a minty pea soup (also known as ‘Stephanie’s Best Table Soup,’) and a sweet corn soup with chive-y crab. Cold soups aren’t generally huge sellers anywhere I’ve worked, but I implore you, soup-purchasing public, to give them a fair shake.
“shake it like a bowl of soup” – Otis Redding.
2 green bell peppers
1 red bell pepper
1 english cucumbers or 2 garden cukes
half an onion
2 Tbs ea. basil, parsley, and cilantro
2 cloves garlic, pasted
1 Tbs cumin seeds, crushed in a mortar and pestle
1 tsp honey
1 Tbs red wine vinegar
1 Tbs lemon juice
1 Tbs sriracha
2 pieces sourdough bread
approximately 2 1/2 cups tomato juice
Chop all vegetables to approximately the same size and then season with the next 7 ingredients and a liberal amount of salt and pepper. Allow to sit for about 20 minutes. This will render an essential “salad juice” that greatly improves the final product, so don’t go pouring the tomato juice on just yet.
While the veggies are getting juicy, soak the sourdough bread in a little of the tomato juice and then blend it up in a blender or with an immersion blender.
Add the tomato juice-bread mixture and remaining tomato juice to the vegetables, reseason, and chill.