Summer Gazpacho

The baskets of fruits and veggies at my neighborhood market have been overflowing recently with lots of good finds.  But, it’s the great selection of plump, ripe tomatoes that caught my eye this week… and for good reason!

As we edge into the latter part of summer, Denver’s hot, dry, sunny days have left me craving light foods that still pack a lot of flavor as well as a lot of nutrients.

This quick gazpacho, adapted from Thomas Keller’s French Laundry Cookbook, does both so well.   It somehow tastes rich, without being heavy and the flavors meld together perfectly without overpowering each other.  Plus, it’s easy to throw together and, like most good soups, the flavors just get better after a day or two in the fridge.  Serve it along with a salad or sandwich for a light, summery meal.

Fresh Tomato Gazpacho

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup chopped red onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
  • 1 cup chopped English cucumber (or regular cucumber, peeled, seeded and chopped)
  • 1 cup chopped and peeled tomatoes (see instructions below)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chopped garlic
  • 3/4 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 2-3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 3 cups low sodium tomato juice

 Directions:

1. Before you start “cooking”, gather all the vegetables you’ll need (feel free to substitute for or add in other veggies you have on hand).

Also, gather all the other ingredients for the soup. This not only reduces the preparation time, but it also helps me to make sure that I don’t forget any ingredient.

2. Fill a medium-sized saucepan 2/3 full with water and bring to a simmer. Score the bottom of each tomato, just cutting the skin.

3. Gently place the tomatoes in the simmering water and cook just until the skin starts to crack or pull away from the tomato–about 1-2 minutes. Remove  and immediately place in bowl of cold water.

4. Once tomatoes have cooled enough to handle, peel, seed and roughly chop them.

5. Meanwhile, prepare and chop the remaining vegetables. The cucumber is most easily seeded with a spoon and, if you are using regular cucumbers, you should peel them as well.

6. Combine the tomatoes, chopped vegetables in a large bowl.  Add the remaining ingredients, pouring the tomato juice in last.

7. Using an immersion blender, process soup until smooth.

8. Ladle soup into jars or tupperware and store in the fridge for at least 4 hours to allow the flavors to meld together (soup can be stored in fridge for up to 5 days, but be aware that the garlic flavor intensifies as the soup ages).

9. Serve chilled soup in small bowls.  I prefer it topped with a little diced avocado and fresh corn kernels.

Enjoy!

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