So hot that I almost want to stay far, far away from my kitchen.
But, alas, that would be impossible.
So we forge on. After my last recipe I know I promised you healthy and I promised you tomatoes and celery. Now, I shall deliver.
Now before the other day, I had never actually made gazpacho before but I figured how hard could it be? Just throw a ton of veggies in the blender and bam! You got your soup. Cold soup on a hot day….that’s what I like to eat. So, I picked up a bunch of fresh veggies at my local farm stand and went to the drawing board. I sweat, I peeled, I chopped….but my reward was deliciously cool and creamy vegetable soup with just a little added heat from the spicy tomato juice I used. A lot of gazpacho recipes don’t have any oil in them at all, but I used a little extra virgin olive oil in mine and I was very happy with the final outcome. The olive oil just seemed to just smooth everything down and made the soup’s texture like liquid velvet.
The vegetables I used are really only a recommendation—you could use a green bell pepper instead of red, a shallot instead of an onion, or even skip the celery if you’re feeling frisky.
Here’s what you need for success:
First, chop your vegetables. If you’re like me and you much prefer adding ice water to crisco to make flaky pie dough, forge on. The end result is very worth the potential loss of digits. Sorry, I didn’t really mean that!!
Okay, cucumber first.
Peel, slice and dice.
A wee red onion–
Red bell pepper (or green, or yellow!)
Two big ol’ juicy tomatoes
And finally, two cloves of garlic….minced
A handful of fresh parsley
And finally, another handful of basil. Chiffonade
Throw all that goodness into a large bowl and pour in one can of tomato juice (I picked spicy ’cause I like it hot!)
Squeeze a lemon over everything
Add a quarter cup of extra virgin olive oil and a quarter cup of balsamic vinegar (you could use red wine vinegar, too)
And give everything a big ol’ stir!
Now we can finally get to the fun part!!
Some people like fast cars. I like fast kitchen appliances. They really float my boat if ya know what I mean.
Puree HALF of the salad until it resembles this delightful concoction
Okay so that looks gross. But it tastes good—I promise! Add the liquid veggies back to the bowl and stir really well.
Season with some salt and pepper and then pop it into the fridge to chill waaaay down—about three hours. No one likes to sip on lukewarm vegetables now do they?
Makes about four cups
1 cucumber, diced
2 large tomatoes, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 small red onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1/4 cup fresh basil, chiffonaded
1 can tomato juice (I use the spicy kind for an added kick!)
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 lemon, juiced
pinch of sea salt
pinch of ground black pepper
Combine everything in a large bowl. Puree half in a Vita-Mix or blender and add the remaining vegetables to the puree. Season with sea salt to taste and chill for about three hours before serving.