I’m nervous, you guys. I’m kind of an introvert and have never been very good at public speaking. However, several months ago I enthusiastically agreed to do a cooking demo at the local farmer’s market. Suddenly that demo is a week away. Eek.
I decided I should make something that was easy and preferably didn’t involve any actual cooking. Gazpacho seemed like a perfect way to showcase market ingredients while being able to banter with people and answer questions. After a few experiments, I have my perfect recipe!
I had one word in mind while developing this recipe (NO, not “fear”). Refreshing. I wanted this chilled soup to be a refreshing summer snack or appetizer. As I experimented with more traditional gazpacho ingredients I ran into issues. Cucumbers, basil, bell peppers, vinegar and bread resulted in muddled flavors that fought with the natural lightness of the cherries. So I went back to the drawing board. Orange juice to enhance the cherries, lemon juice for a less acidic kick and shallots for a milder onion flavor. Mint instead of basil because it’s incredible with cherries. The results were exactly what I was seeking- a light, refreshing, sweet and savory chilled soup. I think you’ll like it.
- 4 cups pitted cherries
- Juice from 1 large orange (about ¼ cup)
- Juice from 1 lemon (about 2-3 tablespoons)
- 2 cloves garlic, smashed
- 2½ tablespoons shallot, minced
- 1 teaspoon fresh mint, chopped finely
- salt and fresh black pepper to taste
- Puree the cherries, orange juice, lemon juice, garlic, shallot and mint in a blender until smooth.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste.