California Gazpacho with Herbed Walnuts
This chunky, chilled tomato-based soup is a wonderful accompaniment to grilled cheese or panini sandwiches.
1 tsp. walnut oil
2 tsp. chopped fresh rosemary
Pinch cayenne pepper
2⁄3 cup California walnuts, chopped
1 1⁄2 lb. (about 5) ripe tomatoes, peeled and chopped
1 cucumber, peeled, seeded, and coarsely chopped
1 small red or green bell pepper, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 small red onion, finely chopped
1⁄4 cup white vinegar
1 1⁄2 cups tomato juice
1 1⁄2 slices white bread, torn in pieces
Pepper and hot pepper sauce
1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Spread walnut oil in small baking pan and place pan in oven for 3-4 min.
2. Meanwhile, stir together rosemary, cayenne, and a pinch of salt; set aside. Toss walnuts with heated oil; sprinkle with rosemary mixture. Toast nuts in oven, stirring twice, until lightly browned. Set aside.
3. In large bowl, combine tomatoes, cucumber, pepper, garlic, onion, vinegar, tomato juice, and bread. Transfer in batches to food processor or blender; process until coarsely pureed. Return soup to bowl; cover and chill thoroughly.
4. For service, if soup seems too thick, stir in more tomato juice to thin. Season with salt, pepper, and hot pepper sauce to taste. Ladle soup into cups or bowls and top each serving with herbed walnuts.