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Zesty Gazpacho with Shrimp

This dish is refreshing and cool and makes a wonderful light supper, soup before dinner or a lovely alfresco lunch during the Spring and Summer months. While very spicy and delicious, this soup/salad is very nutritious and low in fat.

3 pounds of ripe red Florida tomatoes, peeled, seeded and coarsely chopped
2-3 sprigs of fresh Florida basil, chopped
2-3 sprigs of fresh Florida cilantro, chopped
1 medium Florida green pepper, coarsely chopped
3 Tablespoons cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon rice wine vinegar or ½ teaspoon white wine vinegar
1 small Florida cucumber, peeled, seeded and coarsely chopped
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 medium Florida red onion, coarsely chopped
pinch of oregano
salt to taste
white pepper to taste
3 Florida green onions, sliced
2 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped cayenne pepper to taste

Corn and Shrimp
1 cup fresh Florida corn kernels
1 pound of steamed or broiled Florida shrimp, peeled and coarsely chopped
12 thin slices from french bread baguette
2 garlic cloves, whole and peeled
fresh Florida basil (optional)
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil


In a large bowl, combine first twelve ingredients. Working in batches, process the mixture in a food processor or blender until blended but still chunky. Transfer to a large bowl and season with salt, white pepper and cayenne. Cover and refrigerate at least one hour or until chilled.

Corn and Shrimp
In a small saucepan, combine the corn with ¼ cup water, salted to taste. Bring to a boil over moderately high heat and cook until just tender, 2 - 3 minutes. Drain and let cool. Preheat the broiler and arrange the baguette slices on a baking sheet and toast until golden. Rub the toast with the whole garlic cloves and drizzle lightly with 1 tablespoon of olive oil; keep warm. To serve, stir the corn and shrimp into the gazpacho. Ladle the gazpacho into chilled soup plates and sprinkle with fresh chopped basil, if desired. Serve with the warm garlic toasts.

Yield: 6 servings

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