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Gazpacho (and Gazpacho Cocktails!)

July 22, 2011 | Appetizers, Beverages, Soup

There are few recipes that seem as perfect for summer as gazpacho. The ingredients are plentiful during the summer harvest, it comes together with no cooking at all, and it’s cool and refreshing, not to mention healthy to boot. I can still remember the first time I saw gazpacho. My mom had made a batch for a picnic lunch while we were visiting Pikes Peak from Indiana. I was 11 and it was also the first time I saw string cheese. It all seemed so exotic to me at the time!Now I make my own gazpacho pretty much every summer. And while my mom often made gazpacho as a way to use up left over salad that was already dressed with a basic Italian vinaigrette (think about those flavors for a minute and you’ll see why it works), I make it when I get just the right mix of produce from my CSA farm like I did this week.And while this makes for a great lunch, snack, or first course. By the way, you know those crouton crumbs that you find at the bottom of the bag? Don’t throw them out! They make a perfect garlicky crunchy topping for the soup. And if you happen to be a Bloody Mary fan, try adding some vodka to this gazpacho next time you crave one. Now that’s a serious drink mix!

3.5 from 2 reviews
Gazpacho (and Gazpacho Cocktails!)
 
Recipe type: Soup
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 1 cucumber, seeded and cut into four
  • 2 large ripe tomatoes, diced
  • 1 small red onion
  • 2-4 cloves garlic (more = more spicy heat)
  • 1 bell pepper (any color)
  • 2 tablespoons high quality extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ can tomato paste
  • 1 cup water
  • 2-3 tablespoons sherry vinegar, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • Garlic croutons, crushed, for garnish
Instructions
  1. Cut one of the cucumber quarters into a very fine dice and set aside with the croutons for garnish. Add all remaining ingredients to the blender and blend until smooth. Pour into bowls and top with diced cucumber and a sprinkle of crushed garlic croutons for crunch.
Notes
I used tomato paste and water because I didn't have tomato juice on hand and because most tomato juice is so high in sodium. If you prefer, omit the tomato paste and water and add ½ to 1 can of tomato juice instead.

 

Comments

5 Responses | TrackBack URL | Comments Feed

  1. My friday favorite is gazpacho too! I could eat it all summer.
    My recipe is a quick cheater… your’s actually looks better. The next batch is Michele’s
    Come join the linky party… and bring some gazpacho with you
    :-)

    Reply

  2. Wow, I LOVE the gorgeous photos–so brilliantly colorful, like summer in a blender/bowl. I can’t believe we’re almost in August and I haven’t made gazpacho yet. Will definitely try this recipe.

    Reply

  3. This is kinda the cheater variety recipe, too. I’ll have to give it a try, as mustering the energy to do something more authentic is a bit of a chore!

    I like the idea of crushed garlic croutons – that should give it a bit of that original peasant days-old bread quality …

    Reply

    • Peter, I have a cooking philosophy called “global improv”. I think we can make approximations of authentic global cuisine and they taste great and are easier for most home cooks to attempt. At times I like to make more complicated original versions, but don’t think we have to all the time to enjoy great ethnic cuisine!

      Reply

  4. Good version! I had one at our favorite place the other night. It was smooth and creamy as they emulsify with olive oil. The beauty of gazpacho is the lack of rules.

    Reply

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