Roasted Poblano Gazpacho
Gazpacho al Chile Poblano Asado
Makes about 6 cups, serving 6 generously
Recipe from Season 6 of Mexico - One Plate at a Time
2 1/2 pounds ripe tomatoes, preferably vine-ripe heirloom tomatoes
2 large poblano chiles
4 garlic cloves, unpeeled
1 medium (10-ounce) cucumber, peeled
1/3 cup chopped cilantro
2 large eggs
1/2 small white onion, finely chopped
1 1/2 cups croutons (I like garlic-flavored croutons)
1/4 cup dry red wine
1 thick slice white bread
1 tablespoon vinegar, preferably sherry vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil
1. Roast the basic ingredients. Spread half of the tomatoes and both of the poblanos onto a baking sheet, and roast 4 inches below a preheated broiler until blistered and blackened in spots, about 6 minutes per side. The poblanos may blacken before the tomatoes - remove them as soon as they are done. Cool the tomatoes and poblanos, then pull or rub off the blackened skins. For chiles, pull out the stems and seed pods, then quickly rinse off seeds and stray bits of skin. Scoop the tomatoes into a large bowl, along with any juices on the baking sheet. Roughly chop half of the poblanos and add to the roasted tomatoes. Chop the remainder of the poblanos into 1/4-inch pieces and scoop into another large bowl that you can use for serving.
While the tomatoes and chiles are roasting, roast the garlic directly on a dry griddle or heavy skillet over medium heat, turning occasionally, until soft (they'll blacken in spots, too), about 15 minutes. Cool, peel off the papery skin, roughly chop and add to the roasted tomato mixture.
2. Prepare the garnishes. Chop enough of the remaining unroasted tomato into 1/4-inch pieces to yield 1 cup; add to the serving bowl with the poblanos. Chop half of the cucumber into 1/4-inch pieces and add them, too. Top with half of the chopped cilantro and stir everything together. Cover and refrigerate until you're ready to serve.
Simmer the eggs in heavily salted water to cover for 9 minutes. Set the pan under cold running water for a couple of minutes, let stand a few minutes more (to ensure they're cool to the center), then peel and finely chop the eggs. Scoop into a small serving bowl, cover and refrigerate. Scoop the onion into a strainer, rinse under cold water, shake off the excess moisture and add to the vegetable mixture. Cover and refrigerate. Lastly, scoop the croutons into a small serving bowl.
3. Make the soup. Roughly chop the remaining unroasted tomatoes and cucumbers, and scoop them in with the roasted tomato mixture, along with the remaining cilantro, wine, bread, vinegar and olive oil. In batches, scoop into a blender jar and process to a smooth puree. Press through a medium-mesh strainer into a bowl. Stir in about 1 1/2 cups water to give the mixture the consistency of a light cream soup. Taste and season with salt, usually about 2 teaspoons. Cover and refrigerate until chilled, usually about an hour.
4. Serve the gazpacho. Ladle the soup into chilled soup bowls. Sprinkle the garnishes generously with salt, stir, then pass them separately for each guest to add al gusto.