Gazpacho with Crispy Pancetta and Sour Cream

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It’s the first damn week of September and everyone is already all “IT’S SOUP SEASON”! As I type up this recipe, it is 110°F outside, so I totally agree – “AS LONG AS THAT SOUP IS FREEZING COLD!”

Gazpacho is such a delightful end of summer delicacy. End of summer, because that’s when the best tomatoes come in, at least around here! George is still pulling about five gorgeous tomatoes off the vine every day, there are still gorgeous options at the farmer’s market and grocery store, so let’s use ‘em up, shall we?

I have a Gazpacho with Charred Jalapeño Crema in my cookbook that I LOVE, but I was looking to add some protein to this soup to make it a complete lunch one afternoon this week, and crispy pancetta on top was just the answer. Since the beauty of gazpacho is that it’s a “no-cook” recipe and adding the pancetta means an extra step, I wanted to keep the “crema” super simple – so it’s just plain ole sour cream! It’s perfect and creamy and delicious and totally inauthentic. Gazpacho is a Spanish dish that is served, at most, with a drizzle of really good extra-virgin olive oil. But I am a Southern gal, who knows that sour cream makes everything better, so here we are!

This gazpacho is wonderful with or without the pancetta and sour cream on top, so don’t feel obligated to include them! I do love serving it with a slice of good toasted sourdough for dipping.

Gazpacho with Crispy Pancetta and Sour Cream

Servings 6 people

Equipment

  • High-powered blender
  • Cutting board
  • Chef’s knife

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds fresh summer tomatoes, roughly chopped, slimy cores removed
  • 1 small vidalia onion roughly chopped
  • 1 large red bell pepper, roughly chopped
  • 1 English cucumber peeled, 1/4 minced, 3/4 roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves
  • 1 large garlic clove, smashed with the side of a knife
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp sherry, apple cider, or red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 to 4 ounces diced pancetta 
  • 1/4 to 1/3 cup sour cream (omit for Whole30)

Instructions

  • Place 2 pound roughly chopped, cored tomatoes, 1 small roughly chopped vidalia onion, 1 large roughly chopped bell pepper, 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, and 3/4 of a peeled roughly chopped cucumber, 1 smashed garlic clove, 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, 2 tablespoons vinegar, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, and 1/8 teaspoon black pepper into a high-powered blender and blend until smooth.
  • Taste, and adjust salt, pepper, and vinegar as desired.
  • Pour the gazpacho into a large serving bowl (or just keep it in the blender if you don’t need your blender…) and stir in the minced cucumber.
  • Chill the gazpacho for at least 2 hours before serving. Taste and season again if needed before serving.
  • Just before you serve, crisp up 2 to 4 ounces of pancetta, depending on how much your crew likes delicious crispy bacon-y bits! Warm a non-stick skillet over medium heat, add the pancetta and cook for 4 to 5 minutes until crispy. Drain on a paper towel lined plate.
  • Divide gazpacho between 4 to 6 bowls and top with a dollop of sour cream, lots of crispy pancetta, and a sprinkle of fresh herbs if you’ve got ‘em!
Author: caroline chambers

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