How goes it my friends? Or, to some of you out there, frienemies? I kid! I kid! A couple of friends voiced passionate complaints about my Sweet Pea and Basil Soup post last month. According to them, it was simply absurd that I would even consider posting a soup recipe in the middle of our sweltering summer. To boot, it was a pea soup, which apparently brought back dark childhood memories of mom’s swamp-green version and times of not-so-good cooking. One of these friends suggested, “Hey, if you’re going to post soup in the summer, how about some gazpacho?” Ask (or gang up on me) and ye shall receive, my beloveds.
To conclude my two part tomato feature, I bring you a bowl of chilly gazpacho, certain to keep you cool and hydrated as summer winds down. The term “gazpacho” has become synonymous with any cold soup (think watermelon or avocado). However, the traditional version traces its origins back to Spain and is tomato-based with a variety of raw veggies and oft times bread. It’s basically a liquid salad with no cooking necessary – an added bonus during heatwaves. This one-bowl wonder was popular with fieldworkers looking to cool down in the dog days of summer. In an effort to keep the soup light, yet hearty, I was determined to leave out bread, yet pack it chock full of colorful vegetables. This is my first time tackling gazpacho, and, typical of attempting anything outside my realm of experience, I like to look at the most highly esteemed recipes and work off of them. I found this fantastically reviewed Ina Garten recipe that did not disappoint. And, as a lot of the reviewers mentioned, the depth of flavor increased as the days past. Here’s to staying cool and keeping readers happy! If there’s anything else you would like to see on KarmaCucina in the future, drop me a line!
Slightly adapted from Ina Garten’s recipe
Serves 4 – 6
1 hothouse cucumber, halved and seeded, but not peeled
2 red bell peppers, cored and seeded
4 plum tomatoes
1 small or 1/2 large red onion
3 garlic cloves, minced
3 cups tomato juice
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 Tbsp. sea salt
1tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup roughly chopped Italian parsley (optional)
Roughly chop the cucumber, peppers, plum tomatoes, and red onions into 1-inch pieces, keeping separate from each other. Put each group of veggies into the food processor one at a time and pulse until coarsely chopped. Do not over process.
Combine the veggies in a large bowl. Add the garlic, tomato juice, vinegar, lemon juice, lemon zest, olive oil, salt, pepper, and parsley (if using). Mix well and chill before serving.
A few notes:
- A couple helpful hints on seeding the hothouses: Cut in half lengthwise. Press a demitasse spoon down at the start of the seed channel and pare out the seeds by pulling gently towards you, scraping out the contents in several gentle motions. Repeat as necessary.
- This recipe can go in a lot of different directions, but here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Add 1 seeded and minced jalapeno, a sprinkle of cumin, sub lime juice for lemon, and cilantro for parsley.
- Toss in some roughly chopped shrimp
- Garnish with croutons, avocado, or sliced scallions