Week 20, Meal 3: Summer soup

For the last meal of two soups and a sandwich week, we’re bringing you a refreshing soup for the summer months.

We’re using three delicious seafoods — crab, shrimp and scallops — to craft a luxurious and beautiful dinner.

Here’s Week 20, Meal 3: Andalusian Gazpacho with mixed shellfish.

The Recipe (4 servings)

1 1/2 t olive oil
4 oz. bay scallops, cleaned
4 oz. peeled shrimp, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
8 oz. lump crab meat
1/2 t salt
1/2 t cumin
1/2 t smoked paprika

1 roasted red bell pepper, seeded and peeled
6 roma or vine ripe tomatoes, roughly chopped
1 English cucumber, 1/2 for soup, 1/2 seeded and diced
1 oz. piece of baguette
1 clove garlic
1 1/2 T sherry vinegar
1 1/2 t cumin
1/2 t coriander
1 t smoked paprika
3 T olive oil
1 avocado, diced
2 T chopped cilantro
1 c water
salt and pepper, to taste

Start by firing up the grill on high and roasted 1 red bell pepper. Grill until all sides are black and bubbling, then place in a plastic bag or container for about 20 minutes. The steam will help separate the skin from the flesh and make it easy when it comes time to seed the pepper.

Make a spice mix for the seafood by mixing 1 t of salt, 1 t of cumin and 1 t of smoked paprika.

Cut 4 0z. of shrimp into 1/2-inch pieces. If your 4 oz. of scallops are big, cut them down to the same size as the shrimp.

In a medium saute pan heat 1 1/2 t of olive oil over medium-high heat. Add scallops and shrimp and saute until cooked through, about 2 minutes.

Remove from the pan and chill shrimp and scallops. I have the tendency to overcook my shrimp, so I threw my seafood into a bag and into an ice bath, just to make sure I had cooked it perfectly.

Now let’s make the soup. In a food processor or blender add bell pepper, 6 tomatoes, 1/2 of an English cucumber (small dice the other half and reserve), 1 clove of garlic, 1 1/2 T of sherry vinegar, 1 1/2 t of cumin, 1 t of smoked paprika and 1/2 t of coriander.

Drop the dice on 1 avocado while you’re at the cutting board. (Watch: How to dice an avocado.)

Puree the mix, slowly streaming in 3 T of olive oil.

Take the cooled shrimp and scallops and mix with 8 oz. of lump crab meat. The lumpier the better, as mine was shredded and took away from the texture of the soup.

To plate: Put 1/4 of the soup into each bowl. Top with 4 oz. of mixed seafood. Sprinkle with diced avocado, diced cucumber, and cilantro. Says Chef Brian: “This soup was the hit at my sister’s wedding, and that was without the shellfish, which just puts it over the top.”

The soup was velvety and luxurious and had a great smoky, peppery flavor that stayed on the palate long after the bright, acidic tomato puree was gone. While the soup was fine on it’s own, Chef Brian was right — the seafood really did bring this one over the top, adding a salty, chewy counterpoint to the punch of the gazpacho.

Full disclosure though, both Wifey Nadia and I ate half of our soup and all of the seafood. We really enjoyed the flavors, but in the end, cold soup wasn’t really for either of us.

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