Because you know what? I am on a cold-soup roll, which isn't some kind of bun that's served with vichyssoise, it is the unstoppable momentum achieved by making two delectable cold soups in a row. First there was the Thai Squash Soup, and now I offer you this: Creamy, Garlicky Gazpacho. Don't usually like gazpacho? You'll like this version. Don't usually like garlic? Use less. Don't usually like cream? Seriously? You don't usually like cream? That's fine; there's no actual cream in this creamy gazpacho; the soup gets its velvety richness from my new favorite food, sheep's milk yogurt (all other yogurts are dead to me now). This soup will be your new best friend, which is good, because no one else will want to come near you for a solid 24 hours after you've eaten it. But like I said: If you don't usually like garlic, use one clove instead of two.
A few other notes:
* This soup is so easy to make, you have no excuse not to try it.
* The recipe calls for a garnish of fried Parmesan crisps, which are easy to make when they don't totally fail (see below), but if you don't feel like exerting the extra effort, just grate a little cheese over your bowl before you eat. Or don't—the Parmesan is not essential.
* Go on now, start cooking.
Creamy, Garlicky Gazpacho
Adapted from the New York Times, which in addition to recipes also publishes all the news that's fit to print. Who knew?
6 tablespoons grated pecorino Romano
2 large tomatoes (about 1 pound), cored and roughly chopped
1½ cups (12 ounces) plain sheep’s-milk or regular yogurt [Use the sheep's milk. That's an order.]
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
12 basil leaves, roughly chopped, more for serving
2 large garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped
2 scallions (white and light green parts), roughly chopped
2 ice cubes
1¾ teaspoons kosher salt, more to taste
1½ teaspoons red wine vinegar, more to taste
Pinch cayenne pepper
Ground black pepper to taste.
1. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Spread 2 tablespoons cheese into a thin layer in skillet; let melt and brown on bottom, about 30 seconds to one minute. Use a spatula to flip cheese; let cook until evenly browned on both sides, about a minute more. Transfer fried cheese to a paper-towel-lined plate. Repeat with remaining cheese, working 2 tablespoons at a time. Break fried cheese into large pieces. [About half the time, my browned-on-one-side layer of cheese squinched up into a tasty but unattractive blob when I tried to scoop it up with the spatula for flipping. The rest of the time things worked out OK.]
2. To make soup, place tomatoes, yogurt, olive oil, basil, garlic, scallions, ice cubes, salt, vinegar, cayenne, and black pepper in a blender. Purée until smooth. Taste and add more salt and vinegar, if necessary. Pour into small bowls and garnish with pieces of fried cheese and chopped basil.
3. Resume whatever you stopped doing earlier.