Summertime in a bowl, liquid salad, just two of the descriptive names for that summer favorite, gazpacho. Our tomatoes are finally starting to ripen along with a healthy crop of cucumbers. I think I read about fifty recipes and finally settled on my own combination of vegetables. I used some purchased tomato juice, but as the tomatoes from the garden become more plentiful, I will use them to make my own juice.
I skipped the traditional stale bread and went very easy on the olive oil. I did use my best Spanish sherry vinegar for this refreshing soup that originated in the Andalusian province of southern Spain. I didn’t blanch, peel or seed any of the vegetables. I did hand chop them for uniformity of size and blended just a little bit of them to enhance the tomato juice base. Flavorful vine ripened tomatoes are key to this recipe. It’s also a good time to use your not so perfect specimens that won’t make it in your tomato salad. The peppers in my gazpacho were purchased, but it won’t be long before I will be picking them from the garden. A jalapeno pepper is nice also to add a little extra heat.
Make gazpacho a day ahead if possible. The flavor only gets better from sitting overnight in the fridge.
Full of sun ripened flavor and packed with nutrients, this low fat chilled vegetable soup is the perfect refreshment for hot summer days.
- 3 1/2c plum tomatoes, cored and cut into 1/4 inch dice
- 1/2c finely chopped red onion, soaked in ice water for 15 minutes and drained
- 2c cucumbers, peeled, seeded and cut into 1/4 inch dice
- 1 1/2c bell pepper cut into 1/4 inch dice
- 1 small clove of garlic, chopped finely
- 2c tomato juice
- 1/4c sherry vinegar
- 2T flavorful extra virgin olive oil
- 3-4 dashes of green Tabasco sauce
- 1T Worcestershire sauce
- Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
- Place tomatoes, onion, cucumber, pepper and garlic in a bowl
- Add the tomato juice, vinegar, olive oil, Tabasco and Worcestertshire sauce. Season with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper.
- Transfer two cups of the mixture to a blender or food processor and pulse the machine on and off to coarsely puree the contents. Return the pureed mixture to the bowl and stir to combine. Refrigerate for at least six hours or preferably overnight before serving.