Combining diced shrimp with a crisp, cool, and spicy gazpacho creates an obvious and naturally good combination, but when the shrimp is diced so that it’s an integral part of the soup, something is lost and it’s hard to perceive the shrimp flavor. When the shrimp is left in larger pieces, the gazpacho becomes almost an accompaniment or salsa instead of a genuine soup that has all the vibrancy of good gazpacho but none of the shrimp flavor. One solution to this problem is to make a gazpacho base and serve a cold shrimp sauce on the side for guests to swirl into the soup. Another solution, somewhat more elaborate, is to make a delicate shrimp mousse for the bottom of the bowls, chill it well, and then ladle the icy gazpacho over the mousse just before serving. The mousse below is closely related to a Bavarian cream in that it’s made with whipped cream and a small amount of gelatin, except, of course, that it’s not sweet. The base for the Bavarian cream is the Creamy Shrimp Broth.
6 first course servings
Total Timeunder 4 hours
Make Ahead RecipeYes
One Pot MealYes
OccasionFormal Dinner Party
Five Ingredients or LessYes
Taste and Texturesavory, spiced
- 3 medium tomatoes, peeled
- 1 regular cucumber, peeled
- 1 small red onion, chopped fine
- 1 small clove garlic, minced and crushed to a paste with the side of a chef’s knife
- 1 red or yellow bell pepper, charred, seeded, peeled , seeded, and diced
- 1 jalapeño chile, or 1 chipotle chile in adobo sauce, sauce rinsed off, or 1 dried chipotle chile, soaked for 30 minutes in warmwater and drained; stemmed, seeded, and minced
- 1 small bunch cilantro, large stems removed, leaves and small stems chopped fine just before using
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons very good quality white wine vinegar, such as sherry vinegar, or 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 1 tablespoon salt
- ¾ cup Creamy Shrimp Broth
- ½ packet unflavored gelatin (1½ teaspoons), soaked for 15 minutes in 3 tablespoons cold water
- Leaves from 2 sprigs tarragon, chopped fine just before using
- ½ cup heavy cream
- Salt to taste
PREPARING THE GAZPACHO:
Cut away the sides of the tomatoes and cut these into dice. Work the pulp and seeds through a strainer and reserve what comes through.
Halve the cucumber lengthwise and use a spoon to scoop the seeds out of one half. Cut the half lengthwise into strips about 1/4-inch wide. Slice the strips crosswise to make 1/4-inch dice. Save the remaining cucumber half for another use.
Combine all the vegetables, the tomato pulp, the cilantro, the oil, the vinegar, and the salt in a mixing bowl and stir thoroughly. Refrigerate for 2 hours. The salt will draw the liquid out of the vegetables and provide the liquid for the gazpacho.
PREPARING THE BAVARIAN MOUSSE:
In a medium saucepan, gently heat the shrimp broth until it is slightly warmer than room temperature and add the gelatin and its soaking liquid, stirring until the gelatin is completely dissolved. In a mixing bowl, combine the tarragon with the cream and whip to soft peaks with a whisk (the cream will droop off the end of the whisk when you hold it horizontally). Use a rubber spatula to fold the cream into the warm broth mixture, and season with salt to taste. Ladle 1/4 cup of the mixture into each of 6 well-chilled deep soup bowls and refrigerate for at least an hour until the mixture sets. The mousse can be prepared 1 day ahead.
Spoon the gazpacho into each of the mousse-lined bowls and serve.
2007 James Peterson