Gazpacho

The summer provides an abundance of vibrant, fresh, ripe vegetables and this is the perfect time of year to make gazpacho. Have it for lunch and/or dinner or take a thermos filled to the brim for a picnic or as a refreshing pick-me up on a bike ride or hike.

Gazpacho is a cold Spanish soup that originated in the southern region of Andalusia. The primary ingredient is ripe red tomatoes. The most common additions include bell peppers, jalapenos, garlic, onion, olive oil, Sherry wine vinegar, salt and pepper. The traditional Gazpacho Andaluz contains bread soaked in water and pureed with the rest of the vegetables, which makes the soup thicker and heartier. The soup can be pureed to a smooth texture and further refined by using a food mill to remove any remaining skins or seeds or less processed for a chunkier texture.

Cold Tomato Soup

Puree these ingredients.

I tried a few variations on the texture before I was satisfied. My first go round I not only peeled the tomatoes but seeded them as well. I have to admit to have feelings of guilt as the luscious red pulp that surrounds the seeds went to waste. I also pureed all the vegetables. I think losing the pulp made the soup less flavorful and I wished for more texture in the soup.

I finally settled on pureeing all the tomatoes with one half of the bell peppers, red onion and cucumber and all of the jalapeño and garlic. Do this step in batches, using one-third of the tomatoes and vegetables each time, the juice from the tomatoes helps get an even puree.

Cold tomato soup

Vegetables on the right are pureed with the tomatoes in batches. The vegetables on the left, pulse to chop into small pieces.

The remaining bell peppers and red onion I pulsed last to chop them into small pieces. I left the cucumber out fearing it would turn to mush and diced it by hand. I used Kirby cucumbers from the farmers market, which were small, sweet and had small, fine seeds. If you use a cuke with large seeds, scoop them out before dicing.

Cold Tomato Soup

Diced cucumber.

Serve the soup well chilled and choose from a variety of possible garnishes: croutons, minced vegetables, avocado chunks, cooked shrimp, cilantro or pesto oil.

Gazpacho
Makes: 10 cups

6 cups tomatoes, peeled and chunked (about 6 pounds)
1 cup 1-inch chunks of cucumber, (about 2 small Kirby cucumbers)
1/2 cup chopped red onion, chopped (1/2 small onion)
1/3 cup yellow bell pepper, seeded and chopped (1/2 pepper)
1/3 cup green bell pepper, seeded and chopped (1/2 pepper)
2 tablespoons minced jalapeno (1 small)
1 tablespoon chopped cloves of garlic, (2 large)

Puree the tomatoes, cucumber, onion, bell peppers, jalapeño and garlic in batches using one-third of the ingredients for each batch. Pour into a pitcher or serving bowl.

1/4 cup chopped red onion, chopped (1/4 small onion)
1/3 cup yellow bell pepper, seeded and chopped (1/2 pepper)
1/3 cup green bell pepper, seeded and chopped (1/2 pepper)

Pulse the onion and bell peppers until coarsely chopped. Add to the soup.

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons, plus one teaspoon Sherry wine vinegar
2 teaspoons Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Stir in the oil, cilantro, vinegar, salt and pepper.

Possible garnishes: croutons, minced vegetables, avocado chunks, cooked shrimp, crab meat, cilantro or pesto oil.

Gazpacho
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Makes: 10 cups
 
Notice that some ingredients are repeated within the recipe. There is a different preparation for them. The first batch gets pureed and is the base of the soup. The remaining vegetables are coarsely chopped to give the soup texture. Serve the soup well chilled and choose from a variety of possible garnishes: croutons, minced vegetables, avocado chunks, cooked shrimp, cilantro or pesto oil.
Ingredients
  • 6 cups tomatoes, peeled and chunked (4 pounds)
  • 1 cup 1-inch chunks of cucumber, (about 2 small Kirby cucumbers)
  • ½ cup chopped red onion, chopped (1/2 small onion)
  • ⅓ cup yellow bell pepper, seeded and chopped (1/2 pepper)
  • ⅓ cup green bell pepper, seeded and chopped (1/2 pepper)
  • 2 tablespoons minced jalapeno (1 small)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped cloves of garlic, (2 large)
  • ¼ cup chopped red onion, chopped (1/4 small onion)
  • ⅓ cup yellow bell pepper, seeded and chopped (1/2 pepper)
  • ⅓ cup green bell pepper, seeded and chopped (1/2 pepper)
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons, plus one teaspoon Sherry wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons Kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
Method
  1. Puree the tomatoes, cucumber, onion, bell peppers, jalapeño and garlic in batches using one-third of the ingredients for each batch. Pour into a pitcher or serving bowl.
  2. Pulse the onion and bell peppers until coarsely chopped. Add to the soup.
  3. Stir in the oil, cilantro, vinegar, salt and pepper.

 

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