Gazpacho

It’s August. So what’s your plan to beat the late summer heat? One way is to cool off with some cold Spanish soup. Gazpacho is a tomato-based raw vegetable soup, but it has a nice salty-spicy kick, too. It’s also a great way to use late summer produce, like tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers. You also get a full serving of healthy veggies with each bowl-full. So what’s stopping you?

I was recently in London for a study abroad program, which was exciting and more fun than I can say. In London they have this chain lunch shop called Eat that sells tasty sandwiches, salads and soups. One day I picked up a small container of gazpacho to have with my salad–and it was such a good choice! I’d never really had gazpacho before, but it was cool, zingy and delicious. It inspired me to make my own.

Ingredients

6 tomatoes, seeded and roughly chopped (try to use Farmers Market, heirloom or homegrown tomatoes because they have the best taste)

1 cucumber, peeled, seeded and chopped

1/2 onion, diced

1 green bell pepper, chopped

1 red bell pepper, chopped

1 yellow bell pepper, chopped

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1 stalk celery, peeled and chopped

1 4-ounce jar diced pimento peppers, drained

1/3 cup olive oil

1/3 cup red wine vinegar

1 can tomato juice

1 1/4 teaspoon salt, to taste

1/4 teaspoon pepper, to taste

1/4 teaspoon hot sauce, to taste

A few chives, chopped for garnish

Directions

1. Place 2 chopped tomatoes, half the tomato juice, onion and the garlic in a wide-bottomed blender or a food processor. Blend until smooth and pour into a large pot or bowl. I think if the onion is smoothly blended into the juice of the soup, it’s better for flavor and you don’t stumble upon raw chunks of onion while eating your soup (unless that’s your thing).

2. Place the rest of the chopped tomatoes, cucumber, peppers, celery, pimentos, olive oil and red wine vinegar in your blender or food processor (if you have a lot and it’s easier, do this step in two installments. Also, you can keep a little of everything for a chunky garnish if desired).  Blend on low until chunky but not smooth. Pour into the large pot or bowl with the smooth onion mixture.

3. Add the rest of the tomato juice if desired, stir and mix thoroughly with a spoon. Add the salt, pepper and hot sauce. Stir again until mixed.

4. Serve with vegetable chunk garnish and chopped chive garnish. Gazpacho is a great cool lunch dish or an appetizer for dinner.

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Tags: , , , , , ,

Categories: Appetizer, Main dish, Season: Summer, Side dish, Soup

Author:rsedlak1

Became a voracious, unapologetic bookworm in 4th grade after reading the first three Harry Potter books. Have a thing for dystopias, young adult novels, classic literature and funny memoirs (re: Mindy Kaling / Tina Fey). English and journalism geek, media and pop culture critic, food writer and blogger, editor of an entertainment magazine. Hobbies include: my Netflix account, cooking, gardening, music, art and hiking.

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