The Giants and the Eagles get together Sunday night, and one thing is sure. When the dust settles, one of these teams will reach the .500 mark. It seems as if NFC East teams play one another constantly, and this is already the second Sunday night appearance for the Giants.
Soupwise, it's not the most compelling matchup. A nod to New York, and a Manhattan clam chowder would be an option, but it would suffer in comparison to the real chowder of week two. Philadelphia is a historical city, and even has a little bit of soup history with Bookbinder's Restaurant and canned soups. But this is Serious Eats, so "open a can of soup and heat" won't really do.
I don't know if Alice Waters will be pulling for the Iggles or the G-Men as she watches this tilt, but I do know that she would want you to be eating seasonally and locally. Also, you will want some room in your arteries for next week's Bears-Packers contest, so something lighter this week seems appropriate.
As we near the end of the growing season in the Northeast, a gazpacho is a good bet. If you don't have any sherry vinegar on hand, this is a good reason to get some. Enjoy this soup with the best tomatoes you can find where you are before we descend into the long dark hydroponic night of the soul.
- 3 biggish tomatoes, cored and diced (Use heirlooms if you are feeling fancy, but if you do, strive for color contrast)
- 2 small or one big cucumber, intermittently peeled for tiger-stripe effect, and diced
- 2 red, yellow, or orange bell peppers, diced (Again, contrast is good to have here)
- 1/2 Vidalia onion, or other sweet onion, finely diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced (Put the press back in the drawer, Mr. Speedy)
- Salt, to taste
- 4 to 6 cups tomato juice (It is worth at least springing for the kind that comes in glass)
- 1/4 cup sherry vinegar (Do not be tempted to substitute. If you want to fool with cider vinegar and Liquid Smoke, you are on your own)
- Tabasco to taste (Again, here, accept no substitute. Also, if your personal Tabasco has turned gray, start over.)
- Lots of ground black pepper to taste (If you do not own a decent peppermill, get one. They can be had for not much money, and there is no single kitchen item that can do more to create the illusion of civility.)
- Fancy olive oil (optional)
Combine the diced vegetables. This is a casual late-summer soup, so no need to get out the calipers to check your dice. As far as the size goes, consider what makes sense for a spoon, and that the softer vegetables will lose a bit of mass. Resist the temptation to chuck the lot in a blender, unless you want slurry. Salt vegetables, and let sit for a few minutes.
Add tomato juice, vinegar, hot sauce, and some pepper. Cover and refrigerate. Check seasoning before serving, and garnish with a splash of fancy olive oil, if desired.