If you’ve never treated yourself to a bowl of gazpacho on a hot day, then you just don’t know how to cool down. This chilled vegetable soup is as refreshing as a cool breeze or a dip in the pool, with the added benefit of being yummy.
I was first introduced to gazpacho 30 or so years ago, and immediately fell in foodlust with it. However, being as handy in the kitchen as I am in a medical laboratory, for several years I was reliant on a Campbell’s Soup canned variety. That flavor was eventually discontinued, and I was left gazpacholess.
You see, all the recipes I could find for the homemade stuff called for peeling and deseeding tomatoes, and that’s not something I’m particularly adept at. I’ve tried peeling them, and have always been left with a mushy, gooey mess. And getting those itty bitty seeds out? Fugeddabboudit! There’s probably some obscenely simple procedure, but I haven’t found it yet.
What I did find recently, though, was this recipe at MediterrAsian.com, which substitutes tomato juice for actual tomatoes. After Googling how to remove seeds from cucumbers, I decided to give it a shot.
Man, oh, man! Beautiful, beautiful soup!
Listen, try this recipe and see if it’s not your favorite hot weather snack. It as easy as pie, but more refreshing and healthier. This makes enough for two good-sized bowls, so adjust accordingly.
|1 clove garlic-chopped|
|½ small red onion-chopped|
|½ red pepper (capsicum)-deseeded and chopped|
|½ green pepper (capsicum)-deseeded and chopped|
|1 cup peeled, deseeded and chopped cucumber|
|3 cups tomato juice|
|1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil|
|1 teaspoon white wine vinegar|
|½ teaspoon sea salt|
|¼ teaspoon ground black pepper|
PLACE all ingredients in a food processor or blender and process until smooth. CHILL in the fridge until you’re ready to serve.
Variations:If you like a spicy kick, add a few drops of Tabasco sauce. You could use ripe and flavorful fresh tomatoes instead of tomato juice, but you need to skin and deseed them first (which is why we prefer to use good-quality tomato juice).
Tip:The flavors of gazpacho develop over time, so allow the soup to chill in the fridge for at least 20 minutes, and up to a day ahead.
Instead of Tabasco sauce, I threw in some Pickapeppa Sauce, which added a unique flavor.