Gazpacho

Happy first week of summer, guys! The heat (and humidity) has definitely hit Virginia. One of my favorite things to eat during the summer is Gazpacho! If you’ve never even heard of gazpacho, it’s a soup that originated in the south of Spain (in Anadalusia, to be exact). It’s made with raw vegetables (usually tomato based) and served cold. I know what some of you are thinking: “Cold soup? Yuck.” I used to feel the same way, friend. But as I’ve gotten older I’ve fallen in love with the refreshing, delicious flavors of in-season produce, all blended together into a beautiful, harmonious soup. If that doesn’t convince you, this should: my vegetable-phobic husband LOVES gazpacho. Case closed. 

We were lucky enough to visit Barcelona a few years ago and that’s where we both first tried gazpacho. It was utter perfection. There’s something magical about the food in Spain, and ever since that trip we’ve been searching for a restaurant that can come close to our first, perfect bowl. The closest we have found (which is pretty darn good) is at Community Canteen, a casual cafe affiliated with Mon Ami Gabi, which is a more formal French-inspired restaurant with a few locations across the U.S. Here’s the only problem with Community Canteen – it’s only open during the day (closes at 3:00 PM) and it only serves gazpacho in the summer. Having said that, it is so important to make gazpacho with produce that’s in season (tomatoes are generally best during the summer), it’s understandable. But we crave this the rest of the year!

The reason this dish is so great is that it really requires no actual cooking. And it’s the perfect make-ahead dish – the longer it sits in the fridge, the more intense the flavors become. So make this the day before a BBQ or dinner party and wow your guests with this tasty, healthy, and refreshing soup!

Ingredients

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How to make it

There is only one step in this recipe that vaguely resembles cooking. And that involves very quickly boiling the vine-ripened tomatoes in order to easily get the skins off. To do that, fill a medium pot with enough water to cover the vine-ripened tomatoes, but don’t put the tomatoes in yet. Set the water over medium high heat until boiling. While waiting for the water to boil, using a sharp knife, score the bottom of each tomato with an X.

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Once the water is boiling, carefully put the vine-ripened tomatoes in the pot for 2 minutes. Then immediately remove and put into an ice bath (a big bowl with a big handful of ice cubes and cold water). This will shock the tomatoes, making the peeling process easy peasy. 

Starting where you marked an X on the tomatoes, peel pack the skins.

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Cut tomatoes in half and scrape out the seeds (throw those away). Then roughly dice the vine-ripened tomatoes.

Into a large bowl add the chopped vegetables: vine-ripened tomatoes, cucumber, red bell pepper, sweet onion, jalapeno, and garlic. Add the salt, pepper, cumin, oregano, cayenne pepper, and black pepper. Stir to combine.

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Next, put the cherry tomatoes, olive oil, lime juice, red wine vinegar, and Worcestershire sauce into a blender. Cover and puree until smooth.

Pour the pureed mixture through a strainer into the large bowl of diced vegetables. Using the back of a wooden spoon push the tomato puree through the strainer to get all the juice out. Discard the remains in the strainer. 

Pour all the contents of the large bowl (chopped vegetables + pureed cherry tomatoes) back into the blender.

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Cover, turn blender on, and puree for about 10 seconds. This gives a slightly chunky consistency but mostly smooth. If you want it less smooth, puree for just a few seconds. Return pureed mixture to the large bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Chill for 2 hours or overnight.

Serve with fresh cilantro or parsley leaves, a splash of good extra virgin olive oil, and a baguette on the side for a refreshing dinner! You’ll be surprised at how satisfying and filling this light, vegetarian dinner is!

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Classic Gazpacho - a refreshing raw vegetable soup, served cold, and perfect for those hot summer days!
Gazpacho
Serves 4
A tasty and refreshing soup made with raw vegetables, served cold....perfect for hot summer days!
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Prep Time
45 min
Total Time
45 min
Prep Time
45 min
Total Time
45 min
Ingredients
  1. 4-5 vine-ripened tomatoes, peeled, seeded & chopped
  2. ½ English cucumber, peeled and chopped
  3. 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  4. 1 small sweet onion, chopped
  5. 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and diced (use only half if you don't like spice)
  6. 2 cloves garlic, minced
  7. 1 tsp salt
  8. ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  9. ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  10. ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
  11. 1 pinches of cayenne pepper
  12. 1 pint cherry tomatoes
  13. 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil (good quality)
  14. 1 lime, juiced
  15. 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  16. 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  17. Fresh cilantro or parsley, for garnish
Instructions
  1. Fill a medium pot with enough water to cover the vine-ripened tomatoes, but don’t put tomatoes in the pot yet. Set water over medium high heat until boiling.
  2. While waiting for the water to boil, using a sharp knife, score the bottom of each tomato with an X. Once the water is boiling, carefully put the vine-ripened tomatoes in the pot for 2 minutes.
  3. Prepare an ice bath. Once the 2 minutes are up immediately remove the tomatoes and put into ice bath.
  4. Starting where you marked an X on the tomatoes, peel pack the skins using your hands or a sharp knife. Cut tomatoes in half and scrape out the seeds (throw away). Roughly dice.
  5. Into a large bowl add all the chopped/diced vegetables: vine-ripened tomatoes, cucumber, red bell pepper, sweet onion, jalapeno, and garlic. Also add the salt, pepper, cumin, oregano, cayenne pepper, and black pepper. Stir to combine.
  6. Put the cherry tomatoes, olive oil, lime juice, red wine vinegar, and Worcestershire sauce into a blender. Cover and puree until smooth. Pour the pureed mixture through a strainer into the large bowl of diced vegetables. Using the back of a wooden spoon push the tomato puree through the strainer to get all the juice out. Discard remains in the strainer.
  7. Pour all the contents of the large bowl back into the blender. Cover, turn blender on, and puree for about 10 seconds. If you want a chunkier consistency puree for just a few seconds.
  8. Return pureed mixture to the large bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Chill for at least 2 hours or overnight.
  9. Serve with fresh cilantro or parsley leaves and a splash of good extra virgin olive oil.
Notes
  1. Serve with a crusty baguette for a light and delicious meal!
Adapted from Allrecipes.com
Adapted from Allrecipes.com
Love & Food ForEva http://loveandfoodforeva.com/

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