Roasted Veggie Gazpacho with Avocado Salsa
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Roasted Veggie Gazpacho with Avocado Salsa
Enjoy the slow-roasted flavors of your winter stews even when it’s hot outside with this super flavorful Roasted Veggie Gazpacho and Avocado Salsa. The gazpacho is chock full of delicious vegetables roasted to perfection in the oven and then is topped with a bright and clean Avocado salsa to add some crunch to its smooth partner-in-crime. Stay cool with this chilled soup!
For the Roasted Veggie Gazpacho
- 1 medium eggplant
- 1 zucchini
- 1 onion
- 2 bell peppers
- 4 Roma tomatoes
- 2 fresh jalapenos
- 1 head garlic
- 1/4 cup cilantro leaves
- 4 cups of tomato or vegetable juice
- The juice of one orange
- The juice of one lemon
- The juice of one lime
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon cumin
- 1 avocado
- 1 fresh jalapeno
- 1/2 cup diced cucumber
- 2 Roma tomatoes
- 1 small red onion
- 1 clove garlic
- The juice of one lime
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- A pinch of cumin and coriander
For the Avocado Salsa
1). We will start by preparing the Roasted Veggie Gazpacho and so you will want to preheat your oven to 450 degrees while you start to break down the vegetables for roasting. I would recommend grabbing a mixing bowl to have near your cutting board to place the cut pieces of vegetables as you go to keep your cutting board clear and safe. Peel the eggplant either using a vegetable peeler or knife and then cut into quarters. Move the cut pieces of the eggplant to the mixing bowl and grab a zucchini. Cut off the very ends of the zucchini and then cut in half lengthwise and add it to the bowl. Cut the bell peppers in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds, ribs and top stem. Cut the halves into quarters and then add to the bowl. Cut the jalapenos in half (wearing gloves if you’d prefer) and use a spoon to scrap out the seeds and ribs. It is recommended to thoroughly wash your hands afterwards and avoid touching your eyes and privates (oh how it will burn). Next up is the onion. Cut off the top and bottom and remove the peel and then cut the onion in half horizontally to leave you with two thick rings. Add those to the bowl and move on to the tomatoes. Cut the tomatoes in half lengthwise and make sure to cut out the stem end and add the tomatoes to the bowl.
2. Now that all of the vegetables are cut, add a solid drizzle of olive oil to the bowl along with a heavy pinch of salt. Toss the veggies to evenly coat with the oil and salt. Line two baking sheets with aluminum foil or silpats and tear off an extra smaller piece of tin foil. Cut off the very end of the head of garlic and add a drop of olive oil to the center of the extra piece of foil and place the cut side of the garlic down on the oil. Gather the corners of the foil together in the center to wrap up the garlic. Arrange the other cut vegetables on to the baking sheets in even layers and put into the oven. Set a timer for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes have passed, flip the vegetables and roast for another 20 minutes (40 minutes total).
3. While the vegetables are roasting, it is time to focus our attention on making the Avocado Salsa. Similar to before, it is recommended to grab a small mixing bowl to keep next to your cutting board to dump cut veggies into. Let’s start with the avocado. Using a chef’s knife, cut into the avocado lengthwise until you feel your knife hit the pit in the middle. Slide the knife around the pit a full rotation to cut through the avocado entirely. Twist the two halves in opposite directions to separate them. In the half that still contains the pit, hold the avocado firmly in your hand to tap it with your knife. The pit should now be stuck to the knife and easily removed from the avocado. Next, pinch your knife just above the pit and squeeze downward to safely remove the pit from your knife. Use a spoon to scoop the avocado halves away from the skin and set the cut sides down on your cutting board. Make four or five lengthwise cuts and then make several perpendicular cuts of a similar width to produce “cubes.” Move the cut pieces into the mixing bowl and then grab a lime. Roll the lime against your cutting board with the palm of your hand to help release the juices and then cut it in half. Squeeze the juice of the entire lime over the avocado and toss to ensure the avocados are well covered. In addition to providing a nice citrus flavor, the limes will help keep the avocado from oxidizing and turning brown. Peel a cucumber and then cut into quarters lengthwise. Make a series of perpendicular cuts of a similar width to produce cubes and add to the mixing bowl. Next up are the tomatoes. Cut out the stem from the top and then cut the tomatoes into similarly sized cubes as the avocado and cucumber (I find that using a serrated knife can make quick work of tomatoes). Cut either end of the red onion off and then cut the onion in half lengthwise. Remove the peel and then place the cut sides down on the cutting board. Make a series of cuts along the arch of the onion as if you were going to julienne it, but still just short of cutting all the through. Then make perpendicular cuts to the first cuts to produce small squares of onion. I try to make these smaller than the other pieces so far as we will not be cooking the onions and a large amount of raw onion can be displeasing. Lastly, mince the jalapeño and clove of garlic and add them to the bowl along with a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil and a teaspoon each of cumin and coriander. Toss lightly to mix the veggies and coat in the lime juice, olive oil and spices. Transfer to a sealable container and lightly place a piece of plastic wrap so that it is touching the salsa directly – this will also help in keeping the avocado from turning brown before you serve it. Allow to sit in the fridge for a couple of hours before serving to allow the flavors to meld and develop.
4. The vegetables should be done roasting by now and so remove them from oven and let cool slightly. Once cool enough to handle, add roasted vegetables plus all of the remaining ingredients in the gazpacho section to a blender or food processor and puree. Note: squeeze the individual roasted garlic cloves out of the skins, don’t put the entire head in the blender). You will probably need to work in batches. The final liquid should be thick but also smooth and creamy.
5. Once all of the ingredients have been pureed and combined, transfer the soup to an airtight container and let chill for at least 4 hours, but preferably overnight. When you are ready to serve, garnish each serving with a large scoop or two of the avocado salsa and serve cold.