My MIL is always in the lookout for great, reasonably priced restaurants both locally and in her frequent trips to Florida. One of her favorites is Dolores But You Can Call Me Lolita, a Spanish restaurant in Miami’s Brickell area. The restaurant/lounge has a huge selection of wine bottles under $20.00, appetizer-entree combos starting starting at under $20.00, and a weekday wine and tapas happy hour that my in-laws seldom miss while they are in town. As a courtesy to their patrons, they distribute their recipe for gazpacho, the traditional Spanish vegetable and bread cold soup.
Eduardo is a huge gazpacho fan, and with Tropical Storm Irene looming in the background last Sunday, we thought it would be convenient to have a batch of refreshing soup around in case we couldn’t get much cooking done if the power went out. We set out to the farmers’ market and bought tomatoes, pimientos estrellados (a smaller sweet-ish red pepper named after its star-like shape), and a cucumber from the Siembra Tres Vidas table. After the market we had breakfast at a bakery, where we bought a loaf of pan de agua to use as a thickener. While I was out on a cake decorating seminar, my husband set to work on the soup and the pictures. He did a great job on all fronts, and we enjoyed the soup throughout the week.
The measurements by weight give away that the recipe is designed to be made in large batches. The provided proportions of recipe yield approximately two quarts.
(adapted from Dolores But You May Call Me Lolita)
- 2 pounds tomatoes
- 1/4 pound cucumber
- 1 pound green bell peppers
- 1/8 pound onions
- 6 pimientos estrellados or 4 red bell peppers
- 6 garlic cloves
- 2 ounces white vinegar
- 9 ounces olive oil
- 1/4 pound bread
- salt and white pepper to taste
Tear the bread into small pieces. Cut the tomatoes in half, and squeeze the juice into the bread to soften it. Puree the vegetables in the blender with the oil and vinegar, working in batches according to your blender’s size. Season the soup to taste with the salt and pepper. Combine in the blender the soaked bread pieces with enough vegetable soup to blend, and pour this thickened mixture with the rest of the soup until you reach the desired consistency. Chill in the refrigerator for at least two hours to allow the flavors to meld.