Soupy Sunday: Gazpacho

Still hanging on to the last bit of summer? The late growing season plus warm weather we’ve been having lately mean only one thing to me – eating gazpacho well into September. It takes me back to the days of travelling through Spain when we existed on gazpacho and sangria for almost a week. Muy delicioso!

Tomatos are my favorite thing on earth. Like, last meal favorite. I can eat them plain, cooked, sliced, diced, anywhere, anytime. So every year I look forward to the time when they are truly ripe and delicious enough to make Gazpacho. Because you just can’ make gazpacho with underripe, mealy tomatoes any time of year.

A few weeks ago after a trip through Yakima I ended up with a glut of perfectly ruby beefsteak tomatoes. I broke out the food processor and my favorite gazpacho recipe and went to town. Its one of the easiest things to make really, just chop, process, stir, and refrigerate. It does taste best after a few hours or overnight of chilling so the flavors can mix, but with a little forethought its a great addition to a warm afternoon.

Rustic Gazpacho

Adapted from The Big Book of Soups and Stews by Maryana Vollstedt

 

3-4 ripe plum or beefsteak tomatoes, cut into chunks, no need to peel in my opinion (if you’re unsure about the size of the maters, I’d guess 1.5-2 lbs worth)

1 medium cucumber—peeled, halved, seeded and cut into chunks

1 red pepper, cut into chunks

1/2 medium onion, chopped

1 handful fresh cilantro

2 garlic cloves, smashed

1/4 c. red wine vinegar

1/2 c. olive oil

1 tsp sugar

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp hot sauce

freshly ground black pepper

In a blender or food processor, combine the cucumber, bell pepper, onions, garlic, vinegar, oil, hot sauce, sugar, salt, and pepper and process until coarsely pureed. Transfer to large bowl.

Place chopped tomatoes in food processer alone. Process until finely pureed (About 10 pulses). Transfer to bowl with cucumber puree. Stir to incorporate soup.

Refrigerate Several hours to overnight for best flavor. Serve Chilled*. Garnish with freshly toasted bread, avocado chunks, goat cheese, etc.

[Side note #1: Some recipes call for tomato juice/v8 to give a heavier tomato background to the soup. It makes a little bit of a richer version if thats your gig, try it out.]

[Side note #2: I realize that gazpacho is not the world’s most photogenic food. Halfway through, it looks a little unappetizing. But stick with me, its super delish and refreshing!]

Sorry that I ate ours too quickly to show it cutely served in small bowls with a sprig of fresh basil. Can’t keep the tomato monster at bay!

[* Whenever we eat gazpacho, my parents tell this funny story about a trip they went on with friends before I was born. Shortly after gazpacho being brought to the restaurant table, one of the guys on the trip leaned over to his neighbor and whispers “Should I say something? The soup is cold. . .” Classic]

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