Beat the Heat with this easy Gazpacho Recipe

Heat Wave

As we brace ourselves for another heat wave we are all looking for ways to beat the heat. Cooking and eating hot food when it’s hotter than a jalapeño outside doesn’t excite any of us I’m sure.

Want to find a way to get away from the heat? Step away from the stove and let me share a recipe for Gazpacho Soup. Gazpacho is a chilled tomato and vegetable soup. I discovered Gazpacho years ago while on a trip to Spain and couldn’t believe how refreshing and tasty it was.

If you are like me and have an abundance of tomatoes, this is a wonderful and unique way to eat your tomatoes.

Here is an easy and tasty recipe for Gazpacho

  • 2 lbs tomatoes, cored and roughly chopped
  • 1 medium red pepper, seeded and roughly chopped
  • 1 medium Anaheim or cubanelle pepper, seeded and roughly chopped (you can omit this if you don’t like spicy food)
  • 1 medium cucumber, roughly chopped
  • 1 small red onion, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 3-4 small bread cubes (this gives it a creamy texture)
  • 2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 3 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • Chopped hardboiled egg, avocado or bacon, for serving (optional)

Instructions

Add the chopped tomatoes, red pepper, Anaheim pepper, cucumber, red onion and garlic to a large food processor or blender.You don’t need to peel the tomatoes, but you should seed them. The peels will purée in the blender, but the seeds will chop and they seem to me to add a bitter flavor. Blend until smooth, about 2 minutes, scraping down the sides as needed with a spatula. I use my Vitamix and it works like a dream! I prefer the blender for this. I’ve tried it several times in the food processor and the result just never gets as creamy.

Start on low speed and be patient. It might take a half-minute or so for the puréeing to begin. The liquid from the first tomatoes puréed will make the rest go more quickly. You will be able to see it happening, starting at the bottom of the jar, progressing up. Finally, mix in small bread pieces. Once most of the mixture has been puréed, crank the blender up to high to finish.

Season aggressively with salt and vinegar. Serve immediately at room temp or transfer it to a container and refrigerate it, covered, until ready to serve, However, remember that chilling reduces flavor intensity. You can add chopped hard-boiled egg, avocado, bacon, goat or feta cheese, chopped veggies or fresh herbs on top. I like to serve with a nice crusty french bread.

I experiment often and have added cumin, cilantro, basil, dill, watermelon and even lentils for added protein. Obviously, not all these together, but hopefully you get the idea!

Happy Gardening and Happy Eating!

Mary Church

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