The Mailbox: Gazpacho for the warm months

By Teri Mena

Bread soup, anyone?

I ate at a German restaurant in Sparks, Nev., called the Black Forest. They served the most delicious dish called bread soup. The restaurant has since closed and I’m hoping someone might have this recipe. Thank you.

Dale Stopp, Folsom

Casserole recipe disappeared

I was hoping to locate a recipe that was in The Bee sometime between January 1987 and August 1991. It was a breakfast casserole from a bed and breakfast, name unknown. The ingredients included white wine, French bread and cheese. It was assembled and refrigerated overnight. I had the recipe but lost it. I would love to have it again. Thanks.

Mona Fandel, Seattle, Wash.



If you have recipes in reply to Mailbox reader requests, or questions or comments, write to: Mailbox, c/o Taste, The Sacramento Bee, P.O. Box 15779, Sacramento, CA 95852. You also can email or fax (916) 321-1109. Please include your full name, your city and phone number.

Green gazpacho soup

Prep time: About 1 hour

Rebecca Rogers, a vegetarian from Bloomington, Ind., was looking for a good recipe for gazpacho to make this summer.

Gazpacho is a cold vegetable soup originating in the Andalusia region of Spain. There are many versions of this soup which usually has a tomato base. This recipe, from “Coyote Café” by Mark Miller (Ten Speed Press, 1989, 192 pages), calls for tomatillos instead of tomatoes which contribute to its beautiful green hue. Miller suggests garnishing this soup with shrimp or crab, but to keep it vegetarian you’ll want to omit the shellfish. To make this dish vegan, substitute non-dairy sour cream for the Mexican crema or sour cream or omit altogether.

25 to 30 tomatillos

1 medium red onion

2 cloves garlic

1 English cucumber (use as is), or 2 regular cucumbers (peeled and seeded)

2 poblano chilies, roasted, peeled and seeded

20 sprigs cilantro, leaves only

3 or 4 serrano chilies

1 tablespoon sugar

Salt to taste

1/2 cup Mexican crema or sour cream

8 lime wedges

For the soup: Husk the tomatillos and wash them under hot water. Set 4 unblemished tomatillos aside for garnish. Coarsely chop the remaining tomatillos and place in blender. Chop three-fourths of the onion, all of the garlic, the poblanos and cilantro and add to tomatillos in blender.

Chop three-fourths of the cucumber and add this to blender. Purée vegetable mixture, adding ice water to thin if necessary. Add salt to taste. Chill thoroughly.

For the salsa garnish: Mince very finely the remaining tomatillos, onion, cucumber and the serranos. Combine with sugar and salt to taste. Chill.

To serve: Taste again for salt and check for consistency. Place in chilled bowls and add a dollop of Mexican crema or sour cream and a tablespoon or more of the salsa. Garnish with lime wedges.

Serves 4