Mango Gazpacho with King Prawn Salsa
Now there may be some of you out there who say "Mango, in a Gazpacho? How could you do such a thing?" sure I can't blame you, I certainly thought it was a bit weird before I tried it. If you are a purist I probably won't be able to convince you otherwise, but, if you are up for something a little bit different you should definitely give it a try. The sweetness of the mango is balanced perfectly by the cucumber and other veggies and if you make sure the soup is super chilled rather than any one flavour overpowering, they blend together beautifully.
If you don't fancy using prawns here you could make the dish vegetarian and replace them with chopped fresh tomato in the salsa. If you do like prawns (and I bloody love them) you could go one step further and use langoustines, as they did in the original dish which inspired this one. If you can get hold of them, one or two, whole, would be a super glamorous topping to the soup.
Any recipe that requires only the most minimal cooking time, and which can all be done in advance, always gets my vote in weather like this. Unfortunately the heat makes be incredibly lazy, and in some (ahem, very rare) occasions (e.g. being stuck in the kitchen slaving over a hot stove) can even make my a tad grumpy. So this is a saviour really, it not only gets me out of the kitchen, it also cools me down. With this recipe I can emerge from the kitchen (at least resembling) a cool and calm domestic goddess and no one would be any the wiser! Now that does make me happy.
Mango GazpachoServes 4
50g stale bread, soaked in water for 15-20 minutes
1 medium/large, very ripe mango, peeled and diced
500g very ripe tomatoes, diced
1 red pepper, diced
1 large cucumber, peeled and diced
1/2 small red onion, peeled and roughly chopped (save the other half for salsa below)
1 small garlic clove, peeled and crushed
100ml extra virgin olive oil
1-2 tbsp red wine vinegar
200g raw king prawns, peeled and de-veined (or similar weight in ripe tomatoes, seeds removed and chopped)
100ml white wine
1/2 small red onion, finely chopped
a small bunch or coriander, finely chopped
1 medium red chilli sliced
1/2 lemon, juiced
Drain the water from the bread and squeeze really well to remove as much liquid as possible. Add to a blender along with the mango, tomatoes, pepper, cucumber, onion, garlic and olive oil with a good pinch of salt. Blend until really smooth then add 1 tbsp of vinegar and blend again. Taste and add more salt and/or vinegar to taste.
Strain through a fine sieve and then chill for at least a couple of hours or until ready to eat.
In a small shallow frying pan add the wine and the same amount of water with a pinch of salt, add the prawns and bring to a very low simmer. Poach for around 5 minutes or just until the prawns are pink all the way through. Drain the prawns and leave to cool. Once cool mix together with the red onion, coriander, chilli and lemon juice with a splash of olive oil, season with salt and pepper. Keep cool until needed.
When ready to serve top each bowl of gazpacho with some of the prawn salsa and a good glug of olive oil.