One of the dishes I associate with summertime is Gazpacho, ice cold chunky tomato soup that is usually laced with fresh vegetables like cucumbers, red onions, bell peppers, and if you're like me and like it hot...jalapenos. The soup gets better after sitting in the fridge for a couple of days. The flavors meld together and form the perfect summer meal. I like to roast shrimp and throw a few on top of the soup. You can also garnish it with sliced avocado, tortilla strips or a little crab salad, which is what I did for this batch. The soup is so light (only a 1/4 cup of olive oil in the whole batch), so you can also feel good about having several bowls. I like my gazpacho really spicy. There's something about cold dishes spiked with peppers that appeals to me. I made a spicy ceviche recently that followed the same theme. Spicy or not, this is a great staple for summer.
Blurry picture of my chopped veggies, pre-tomato puree.
Gazapacho (Adapted from The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook)
- 1 hothouse cucumber, halved and seeded, but not peeled
- 2 orange bell peppers, cored and seeded
- 4 campari tomatoes
- 1 red onion
- 2 jalapeno peppers (remove seeds and veins if you don't want it too spicy)
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 23 ounces tomato puree (use juice if you want a thinner soup)
- 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
- 1/4 cup good olive oil
- 1/2 tablespoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
Roughly chop the cucumbers, bell peppers, tomatoes, red onions, and jalapenos into 1-inch cubes. Put each vegetable separately into a food processor fitted with a steel blade and pulse until it is coarsely chopped. Do not overprocess!
After each vegetable is processed, combine them in a large bowl and add the garlic, tomato puree, vinegar, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Mix well and chill before serving. The longer gazpacho sits, the more the flavors develop.