COOK­ING

The Denver Post - - FEATURES - For­mer Den­ver Post and Rocky Moun­tain News food writer Bill St. John can be reached at bsj­post@gmail.com.

• Worces­ter­shire? Uh-uh. Soy or miso in­stead.

• Zing, snap and fire come by way of chili heat, either fresh or in a sauce.

• Raw gar­lic, of course, but easy does it at the getgo. It po­ten­ti­ates and be­comes stronger in fla­vor and aroma as it sits around, es­pe­cially af­ter be­ing pul­ver­ized and added to a liq­uid (such as a cold soup). From all­recipes.com. Chef John: “This is sim­i­lar to a clas­sic gaz­pa­cho, but with no tomato and pep­pers.” In­gre­di­ents

1 ta­ble­spoon olive oil

1 cup leeks, white and light­green parts only, thinly sliced cross­wise

2 English cu­cum­bers, peeled, quar­tered and chopped

8 green grapes

N cup sliv­ered blanched al­monds

1 ta­ble­spoon olive oil

L cup crème fraiche

1 cup French bread cubes 2 ta­ble­spoons sherry vine­gar 1 K cups cold wa­ter, or more as needed

Salt, plus more to taste 1 pinch cayenne pep­per, or to taste Di­rec­tions

Heat 1 ta­ble­spoon olive oil in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Cook and stir leeks un­til soft, 10 to 15 min­utes. Re­move to a plate and al­low to cool. Place cu­cum­bers in a blender with grapes, al­monds, 1 ta­ble­spoon olive oil, salt, crème fraiche, bread cubes, vine­gar, cooled leeks and wa­ter. Purée un­til smooth, about 1 minute. Strain through a fine mesh sieve. Cover and chill for 1 to 2 hours. Taste and sea­son with salt and cayenne pep­per. If needed, add some more vine­gar. Serve gar­nished with dill oil (see note), thinly sliced grapes, sliv­ered al­monds and fresh dill.

Notes: Make a gar­nish of dill oil for driz­zling on top of the soup. Sim­ply smash some fresh dill in mor­tar and pes­tle and slowly driz­zle in veg­etable oil. Freeze some soup in ice cube trays and serve in the bot­tom of each cup to keep the soup cold.

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