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Texas Gazpacho

from Cool Summer Soups

makes 4 servings

1 poblano pepper
2 pounds tomatoes
½ red onion
1 garlic clove
1 cucumber, peeled and seeded (reserve about ¼ cup chopped for serving)
¼ cup raw almonds, plus more for serving
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
¼ cup olive oil plus 2 to 3 tablespoons, plus more for serving (divided use)
Sea salt and pepper
2 eggs
3 or 4 thick slices stale bread

Roast your poblano pepper by putting it directly on the flame of your gas stove and burning it all over, turning as it blackens. (You can do this in an electric stove using the broiler.) Put it in a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let it steam for 10 minutes. Scrape off the charred bits with your knife, cut off the top and split the pepper open and remove the seeds. Put this into your blender.

Put a large pot of water on to boil. Make an X on the bottom of your tomatoes, and when the water boils, drop them into the water and set your timer for 30 seconds. Remove the tomatoes, peel off the skin, rough-chop and put these in the blender. Add the onion, garlic clove, cucumber (remember to reserve ¼ cup chopped), almonds, red wine vinegar, ¼ cup olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. Blend until smooth and creamy. Taste for seasonings. Chill completely.

Meanwhile, make your hardboiled eggs. Put your eggs in a saucepan, cover with water and bring water to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and set your timer for 10 minutes. Pour off the water and rinse with cold water. When the eggs cool, keep them in the fridge until you’re ready to serve your soup.

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Slice the bread into ½-inch cubes, toss them with remaining 2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil and a little sea salt and pepper. Spread on a baking sheet and bake until crisp, about 10 minutes. You can also make these in advance and keep in a plastic bag.

To serve, bring your soup out of the fridge, pour it into bowls. Chop the eggs and add to the soup, along with some of the chopped cucumber, a bit of chopped almonds and croutons. Drizzle with olive oil.

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