GAZPACHO: AN IDEAL MEAL ON A HOT SUMMER NIGHT

GAZPACHO: AN IDEAL MEAL ON A HOT SUMMER NIGHT

When the thermometer lands in the high-80s and I feel the heat and humidity against my neck, the last place I want to be standing is at the stove.  This is when I look for easy, fast make ahead recipes that pack a mighty flavor punch.  My version of Gazpacho, a cold tomato based soup brimming with crisp, fresh diced vegetables, is the answer.  Each spoonful is like a bite out of the farmer’s market stand.  Gazpacho can be a very personal thing; no two alike.  You’ll come across many varieties and versions, from velvet smooth with a touch of cream to more textured varieties. My Gazpacho is like a vegetable starburst.  It’s an explosion of crunchy and tender of vegetables bursting in my mouth mingled with a hint of spice and the cool, smoothness of the tomato juice.

 

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This recipe never fails.  I’ve been making it for 20+ years ever since my mother sent it to me along with her old food processor.  It’s become our “go to” summer meal.  It ticks all the boxes: it’s simple; you can make it ahead and it’s deliciously addictive.  The other reason why I love this recipe – my father.   Simply put, my father is like a petulant six-year old boy when it comes to eating vegetables. He’s known to push them around his plate, never really eating them.  I am, however, happy to confirm his love for this soup.  He actually referrers to this recipe as a “veggie slushy.”   It’s overflowing with vine-ripened tomatoes, sweet, crunchy sunshine yellow peppers, vivid orange peppers, radiant red and gorgeous green peppers.  You’ll also find crisp, cool cucumbers, sweet Bermuda onion and fresh garlic layered throughout. Over the years, I’ve added my own twist by adding depth of flavor with powdered vegetable bouillon and a dash or two of hot sauce and a sprinkling of chili powder.  I even like to toss in fresh corn and carrots. When you want to be in and out of the kitchen in less than 30 minutes and use minimal equipment, reach for your veggies and make a great chilled soup.

Gazpacho

This is a wonderfully simple recipe and requires minimal equipment – all you need is a large bowl, a sharp knife and a food processor. No worries if you don’t have a food processor. You can easily hand chop the vegetables, which is actually methodically relaxing. If you choose to use a food processor, let it do all the work – just keep adding the veggies and pulse away! Once you begin making this recipe, it will become a canvas on which you will add your own touch by adding other vegetables you like.

Ingredients

Ingredients

  • ½ Bermuda onion or a sweet white onion peeled and quartered

  • 1 ½ firm cucumbers, peeled and cut into pieces

  • 2 small green peppers seeded and cut into eights (I use a variety of peppers for color)

  • 6 medium - large ripe tomatoes

  • 5 large garlic cloves

  • 1 cup tomato or vegetable juice * more can be added as desired

  • ½ cup olive oil

  • ¾ tsp chili powder

  • 1 dash hot sauce

  • 2 tsp vegetable bouillon powder

  • salt to taste

Instructions

  1. Into the bowl of a food processor add the onion and pulse into fine pieces, about 5 seconds and transfer to a large soup or serving bowl. Repeat with the cucumbers and peppers, adding each to the soup bowl. Pulse 5 of the tomatoes until evenly chopped into small pieces. Add to the bowl with the other ingredients. To the processor, add the remaining tomatoes, garlic, tomato or vegetable juice, vegetable bouillon, olive oil and chili powder pulse until you have a smooth liquid. Salt to taste. If you prefer a smoother texture, add more juice.

Recipe Notes

Adapted from from Barbara Kafka recipe