Sticks Grilled Vegetable Gazpacho

Sticks Grilled Vegetable Gazpacho

We love reader recipe requests around here, and we hate to disappoint loyal fans. So, when a reader asked us to “track down the absolutely delicious red pepper sauce from Sticks and publish it for the benefit of everyone’s taste buds,” we immediately placed a call to busy restaurateur Bill Hamilton. Not only is Hamilton co-owner of the Preston and Pantops Sticks locations, but he also oversees, with his wife, Kate, their eponymous establishment on the Downtown Mall. While Hamilton was incredibly gracious and willing to share a recipe with us, the red pepper sauce was, unfortunately, a bit too top-secret for that. He did choose a fine substitute, however, that also has red pepper as an ingredient: Sticks’ Grilled Vegetable Gazpacho. “This soup is very popular, and seasonally appropriate,” Hamilton tells us. It’s also easy and delicious, as well.–Pam Jiranek

Sticks’ Grilled Vegetable Gazpacho

1 red pepper, halved            1 small eggplant, sliced
1 green pepper, halved            1 zucchini, split
1 medium yellow onion, cut into slabs    1 yellow squash, split
                    6 tomatoes, halved

Lightly brush vegetables with olive oil and grill until well marked and softened. Cool and coarsely chop, reserving any juices. Combine with:

2 cucumbers, peeled, seeded, and chopped            1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 stalk celery, chopped                                          1 tsp. cumin
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil                                   1 small bunch fresh basil, chopped

Pulse in a food processor or blender to the desired texture and finish the seasoning with salt, sugar, and black pepper to your taste. Also, depending on the size and water content of the veggies, you will want to thin the soup with broth or tomato juice to attain the perfect consistency. Chill and enjoy. Serves 12.

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