In these dog days of summer, a crisp and refreshing chilled soup is a wonderful thing. Gazpacho, for those unfamiliar, is a type of cold tomato soup that originates in Spain, with many variations in texture and flavor. We love the pure, cool, sweet flavors that develop as garden-fresh tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, and onions release their juices and meld together. Chilled Tomato & Vegetable Soup, Gazpacho, is quick and easy to make, especially with a food processor to aid in chopping. Enjoy the fresh bounty of summer and homespun food shared with the ones you love. This recipe is adapted from James Peterson and Cooks Illustrated.
Yield: Serves 8
- 4 large tomatoes, ends removed
- 2 medium cucumbers, ends removed
- 2 red bell peppers, seeds and end removed
- 1 large sweet onion, peeled and ends removed
- 1 jalapeno pepper, seeds and end removed
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
- 3 garlic cloves crushed
- 4 cups tomato juice
- 1/3 cup red wine vinegar
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 1 cup diced chives, basil, cilantro, and/or green onions (for garnish)
- Make this soup a minimum of 4 hours prior to serving to allow the flavors to meld and deepen, and to allow the soup time to thoroughly chill.
- Finely dice (about 1/4 inch cubes) the vegetables (tomatoes, cucumbers, bell peppers, onion, and jalapeno pepper. This step can be done by hand, or in a food processor. If using a food processor, start by quartering the vegetables. Note that if you are using a small food processor, you may have to process the vegetables in batches to avoid pureeing them. Chop/pulse the vegetables together for approximately 12-15 pulses, until they are chopped into small pieces but not yet pureed.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the chopped vegetables, salt, pepper, garlic, tomato juice, red wine vinegar, and lemon juice. Mix to combine. Add 6 ice cubes to kick-start the cooling processes and to provide the remaining liquid. Cover and refrigerate for a minimum of 4 hours prior to serving, preferably overnight.
- Prior to serving, taste the soup and adjust seasoning and spice to your preference.
- Serve the soup very cold, we like to put our serving dishes in the fridge or freezer briefly prior to serving to enhance the cold temperature. You can serve Gazpacho with additional diced tomatoes, peppers, and/or cucumbers on top, along with a liberal garnish of fresh herbs. This soup keeps well for up to three days covered and refrigerated.