I love a fresh, cold soup in the summer. Gazpacho is one of those soups that people love or they hate. If you’re a cold soup fan, this soup is for you! It tastes best when you can get fresh summer tomatoes and cucumbers from your garden or the local farmer’s market. Make a big batch to share with friends on a hot summer day. And the best part is there is no cooking, just chopping, blending and eating!
3–4 Roma tomatoes
1 sweet or Vidalia onion
1 small red onion
1 red bell pepper
1–2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons fresh basil
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro
1 seeded, diced jalapeno
4 cups tomato juice (read the label to make sure it’s free of preservatives)
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
Dash of hot pepper sauce
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
Celtic sea salt and fresh ground pepper
1. Bring a large pot of water to boil. Place an “X” on the bottom of your tomatoes with a sharp knife. Drop into boiling water for 30 seconds. Take out and place into a large bowl of cold, icy water. The skin will peel off very easily now.
2. Set out two large bowls. One bowl will be for your toppings, one will be for the items that go into a blender.
3. Dice tomatoes, removing most of the seeds. Place all but one into a large bowl. Save one, small, diced tomato for the toppings bowl.
4. Dice one cucumber small for the toppings bowl, one larger for the blender.
5. Dice the peppers, onions, cilantro and basil. Larger pieces for the blender bowl and the smaller dices for the toppings bowl.
6. In a separate bowl, mix the vinegar, lemon juice, tomato juice, olive oil, salt, pepper and hot sauce with a small whisk.
7. Place the larger cut vegetables, garlic and jalapeno into a blender or Vitamix and pulse for just a few seconds (not too long) to get everything blended.
8. Pour this mixture into your toppings bowl. Then pour the vinegar mixture on top and stir. Adjust your seasonings and let chill for 2 to 3 hours.
9. Serve with a squeeze of lemon juice and more diced cucumber on top.
Notes: Make it fancy and serve chopped crab or chilled shrimp on top! Makes 6-8 servings.
Credit: Unprocessed Living, by Cindy Santa Ana, NTP