Is it summertime? Then there must be GAZPACHO!
Updated: Aug 2
At the request of some special friends, sharing a favorite summertime soup … GAZPACHO!
Total time: 30 min, plus chilling time for the gazpacho | serves 4-6
Note: Adapted from Urth Caffe and from Joy of Cooking
1 ½-2 lbs ripe tomatoes, peeled, seeded, chopped (about 3 1/2 cups) – must be flavorful in-season to work OR 1 can (28-ounces) diced tomatoes (preferably Muir Glen)
1 1/2 cups chopped seedless Persian cucumber
1 cup diced sweet onion
1 cup diced red bell pepper
3 cloves garlic, chopped 1 cup tomato juice or V-8
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (good quality makes a difference here)
1 teaspoon Aleppo pepper (or cayenne pepper)
2 teaspoons sherry (optional)
1 cup chopped fresh italian (flat-leaf) parsley
1/4 teaspoon Tabasco sauce, Sriracha, or other hot sauce
1 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Combine tomatoes, cucumber, onion, bell pepper, garlic, tomato juice and vinegar.
Blend until smooth or slightly chunky (your choice). Pour into a medium bowl.
Season with salt (amount of salt can vary depending on the brand of tomato juice), black pepper and Aleppo pepper. Add Tabasco (or other hot sauce), sherry and olive oil. Taste and adjust flavors to your palate. Stir in the parsley.
Cover and refrigerate the gazpacho until well-chilled. The flavor melds best if soup rests for 6-8 hours before serving. Taste again and season as needed.
For croutons – Remove crusts from 6 slices bread. Cut bread into 1 inch squares. Melt 4TB butter and 4TB olive oil in a sauté pan over medium-low flame. DO NOT LET BROWN OR BURN. Add bread in a single layer – do not crowd! Sauté until golden brown and carefully flip croutons to brown on the other side. Remove to paper lined plate. Repeat as necessary. Other adds to consider – finely chopped cucumber, sweet bell peppers (orange, yellow, green, red), diced shallot, chopped green onion, chopped cooked shrimp, or crab meat.