Chilled Red Pepper Soup with Sautéed Shrimp
This cold soup builds on the flavors of Spanish gazpacho, only roasted red peppers take the place of tomatoes in the lead role.
Yields 6 cups
1 seedless English cucumber, peeled and roughly chopped
3 jarred roasted red peppers, cut into 1/2-inch dice (about 1-1/2 cups)
3 cups tomato juice
2 slices baguette, toasted and cut into 1-inch cubes (about 1 cup)
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 Tbs. plus 1 tsp. sherry vinegar or cider vinegar
1 medium clove garlic, minced and mashed to a paste
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
3/4 lb. medium shrimp (36 to 40 per pound), peeled and deveined
1 tsp. chopped fresh thyme
Cut three-quarters of the cucumber into 1-inch pieces and purée in a blender with the red peppers, tomato juice, toasted bread, 6 Tbs. olive oil, 2 Tbs. vinegar, garlic, cumin, and 1/2 tsp. each salt and pepper (you may have to purée the soup in batches, depending on the size of your blender). Taste and season with more salt and pepper if needed, and refrigerate until cold, at least 30 minutes and up to 1 day.
Heat 1 Tbs. of the olive oil in a large (12-inch) skillet over high heat until it’s shimmering. Add the shrimp and cook, tossing, until it starts to brown and lose its raw color, about 2 minutes. Stir in the thyme, 1/2 tsp. pepper, and 1/4 tsp. salt, and cook until the shrimp are just cooked through, about 1 minute. Transfer to a plate to cool.
Just before serving, cut the remainder of the cucumber into 1/4-inch dice (about 1/2 cup) and toss with the remaining tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, the remaining 1 tsp. sherry vinegar, and 1/2 tsp. salt. Serve the soup cold in individual bowls, garnished with the cucumber and shrimp.
photo: Maren Caruso
From Book Big Buy Cooking
, pp. 39
August 4, 2010