Gazpacho, that lively cold summer soup of pureed tomatoes and assorted vegetables, is treated over here as a meal opener - a job it performs very well. But heartily garnished - that is, topped with plenty of chopped cucumber, onion, peppers and the like - it satisfies as a light meal, which is how it developed in its native Spain.

This version piles on grilled shrimp and fresh avocado, two of my favorite foods, for what amounts in my house to a holy triumvirate of a meal. The recipe makes plenty, more than 2 cups per serving (before garnishing). It's also easily doubled. The yellow cherry tomatoes impart a natural sweetness to contrast with the red wine vinegar and other acidic flavors.

What you won't find in the recipe is bread, which is a key component in authentic gazpacho. I like it with bread, soaked in water, then squeezed and pureed with the rest of the ingredients, but I like gazpacho without the bread better. It's lighter and the flavor of the tomatoes comes through so much more.

The recipe leaves you with a number of halves of this and that. Chop them all up for a salsa the next day. Or to garnish this soup. Or to serve as the base for another batch of the gazpacho, as you'll be wanting more.



Prep: 15 minutes

Cook: 4 minutes

Servings: 2

Note: Because of time limits, the gazpacho is served at room temperature. For a quick chill, place in a bowl inside an ice bath for 10 minutes or so.


1 clove garlic, peeled

1 { pounds yellow cherry tomatoes, about 2 pints

{ medium red onion, roughly chopped

{ red bell pepper, roughly chopped

{ jalapeno pepper, minced, optional

\ English cucumber, unpeeled, roughly chopped

2 tablespoons each: red wine vinegar, extra-virgin olive oil

{ teaspoon coarse salt

10 large shrimp, peeled, deveined

{ avocado, peeled, pitted, chopped in {-inch dice

Tortilla chips, hot sauce

1. Heat a grill to medium heat. Meanwhile, drop the garlic into a food processor while the motor is running; process until minced. Add tomatoes, onion, bell pepper, jalapeno and cucumber; process to desired texture, rather coarse, very smooth or somewhere in between. Transfer to a bowl; stir in vinegar, olive oil and salt. Taste for seasoning.

2. Grill the shrimp, turning once, over medium heat until just cooked through, about 3 minutes. (Or saute in a little olive oil or butter in a skillet over medium heat.)

3. To serve, ladle gazpacho into wide, shallow bowls. Top with the shrimp and avocado. Serve with tortilla chips. Pass hot sauce at the table.

Nutrition information:

Per serving: 312 calories, 22 g fat, 3 g saturated fat, 58 mg cholesterol, 21 g carbohydrates, 12 g protein, 825 mg sodium, 7 g fiber.

(c)2012 Chicago Tribune

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