Wookiee Hut Cuisine presents:
Frozen Gazpacho

by SuSu, MaceVindaloo

What dreadful hot weather we have. It keeps me in continual state of inelegance. — Jane Austen

When the Jedi Master, Qui-gon Jinn, and his Padawan, Obi-wan Kenobi, were forced to land on the Outer Rim planet of Tatooine and remain in hiding to protect the Queen of the Naboo, they split up — Qui-gon went into Mos Espa to find the necessary parts to repair their damaged ship, and Obi-wan was trusted to guard over the Queen and her entourage. He was more than capable, and did not crave the adventure of the dangerous spaceport; nor did he crave the rations that his master would be subsisting on while on his mission. Though the Naboo were refugees, escaping their occupied planet, they had managed to leave on the Queen's starcruiser and so the galley was well-appointed.

The scorching-hot climate of Tatooine penetrated the climate-controlled ship — no vessel was impervious to the heat of the twin suns. Obi-wan noticed the handmaidens and the Queen were always heavily clad, as was their tradition, and now and again, they would have to lie down or risk swooning.

Feeling sorry for her majesty, Obi-wan found there were no cooks on board, so hastily had they escaped, and so he raided the ship's galley and found a surprising array of fresh and canned vegetables. He blended them all together into a refreshing frozen concoction which actually improved on standing, and it was so delicious and so cooling that he had to make it every day they were on the desert planet. Too bad the real Queen — who was in fact disguised as a handmaiden — never got any of Obi-wan's cold soup, but she heard about it a lot afterwards!

  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 2 red or green bell peppers (or one of each), chopped
  • 1½ English cucumbers, chopped
  • 8 cups canned peeled, chopped tomatoes in juice
  • ½ head garlic, peeled and chopped
  • juice of 1 fresh lime
  • 1 x 6 oz / 179 g can tomato paste
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • ¾ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 to 5 cups water, as needed
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme
This recipe requires no cooking, but it does require an overnight "melding time" and some freezing time, so prepare it at least a day before you'll want it, or more.

First Day: In a large bowl, combine the red onion, bell peppers, cucumbers, canned tomatoes with juice, garlic, and lime juice and stir together. Add the tomato paste, red wine vinegar and the olive oil, and mix, making sure to dissolve the tomato paste. Add water to adjust the texture, then season with salt and cayenne pepper, adjusting to your preference. Add the sprigs of fresh thyme, making sure they are buried well within the soup. Cover the bowl tightly (or use a lidded bowl) and refrigerate overnight (at least 8 hours; more would be better).

The next day, remove the sprigs of thyme, then blend the soup in a food processor or blender till fairly smooth. Place half the soup in a covered container and chill in the refrigerator. Place the other half in ziploc bags and place in the freezer till hardened.

When ready to serve, break up the frozen gazpacho and place in a blender or food processor with a few ladle-fulls of the liquid soup and blend into a sort of "slurpee" consistency. Add all the slushy soup to the liquid soup, stir together, and serve immediately.

Makes about 4 quarts (1 gallon) / 4 liters, and can serve 16 as an appetizer or 6 to 8 as a main course. It's also very refreshing poured into cups, served instead of cocktails on a very hot summer's night.

(NOTE: This freezing is actually optional — the gazpacho is excellent simply chilled, but on a very hot day, a frozen soup is really wonderful.)

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