What better way to use some of those tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers from the garden and create something cool and delicious for hot summer days than to make a batch of gazpacho. After ordering a cup of this delicious soup from Blueberry Hill a month ago, I have had a craving for gazpacho ever since.
Gazpacho originates from the Andalusia region of Spain. If you're interested in the history of the dish, check out this site: Gazpacho. This dish has many variations, and after searching the web for recipes, I came up with a conglomeration of a few different recipes to satisfy my craving. Not only does it taste great, but it is so easy to make.
4 - 6 ripe tomatoes, seeded
2 red bell peppers, cored and seeded
1 large cucumber, peeled & seeded
1 onion (red for stronger flavor or yellow for milder flavor)
1 jalapeno, seeded
3 garlic cloves
2 & 1/2 cups tomato juice
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 Tbs kosher salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
Juice from 1/2 of a lime
Cut the tomatoes, cucumber, red peppers, onion and jalapeno into 1-inch chunks. Place jalapeno, garlic and onion in a food processor and pulse until very fine. Then process the tomatoes in a food processor until finely chopped. Repeat with red bell pepper and then with the cucumber. Put all chopped vegetables in a large bowl and mix together. Add the tomato juice, vinegar, oil, salt, pepper, and lime juice and mix well. Chill the soup for at least 2 hours before serving. The longer the gazpacho sits, the more the flavors develop.
I garnished my soup with diced avocado (yum!), but you could use basil, parsley, croutons or whatever comes to mind. This makes a large batch (serves 4 -6), so I had plenty of left overs which made a terrific and more flavorful lunch for the next couple of days. I love this soup as a main dish on a hot summer day, or as a side to a great sandwich.