Two fiddy. Wow.
Late in the summer, celery shows up at the farmers’ markets in Seattle with its leaves still attached. They look like overgrown, tough parsley, but taste like a leafy version of the stalk they grow on, and can be added anywhere you might use bright, leafy greens such as parsley, cilantro, or lovage (the French name for which – I just learned – translates to “bastard celery”). I’m curious – and slightly apprehensive – to know how celery leaves would taste with an Asian peanut dressing. You know, peanut butter and celery, turned into a salad. But that was too much for tonight.
Here, they turn a gazpacho made with the season’s best (warm tomatoes from my windowsill, an onion from Sheldon’s garden, poblano peppers from the Phinney market) into a cool summer soup with an almost Bloody Mary-like flavor – so hey, add some vodka into the mix, if the mood strikes you, especially if you can find some good garlic- or pepper-infused stuff.
Cucumber, Poblano, and Celery Leaf Gazpacho (PDF)
Recipe 250 of 365
Chop the vegetables as finely as you have the patience for – big, irregular chunks make a more casual impression, but the soup will certainly taste just as great. Or, if you’re short on patience and/or time altogether, just throw everything in the blender for a smoother (but in my opinion, slightly less attractive) gazpacho. No matter what you do to the vegetables, do be sure to let the soup sit for a while before you serve it – the juices that seep out of the cucumbers and tomatoes over time are what give this version its liquidity.
TIME: 20 minutes
MAKES: 2 to 4 servings
1 pound heirloom tomatoes (any color), finely chopped
1 small seedless cucumber (about 1/2 pound), finely chopped
1 poblano pepper, seeded and finely chopped
1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
1 large garlic clove, finely chopped
1/4 cup loosely packed celery leaves (or cilantro), finely chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Tabasco or other hot pepper sauce, to taste
Mix the tomatoes, cucumber, pepper, onion, garlic, and chopped celery leaves in a large bowl and stir to blend. Add the oil and vinegar, season with salt, pepper, and Tabasco, and let sit at least 30 minutes before serving.