Tomatoes and cucumbers.
They’re two of the most important ingredients in gazpacho. When they are on sale at the grocery store I immediately want to scream and run towards them as if I’ve just spotted a famous celebrity.
So that’s how I felt the other day at the grocery store as I uttered the word “gazpacho” to the produce clerk who was arranging the tomatoes on the shelf. Ugh. I didn’t mean to say the word out loud. I got strange stares. Probably thinks I confused him with a guy named gazpacho.
But gazpacho is not a person’s name. It’s a soup. A cold tomato soup blended with cucumbers and a few other ingredients. There nothing more delicious, cooling, and refreshing than this.
I think of it as a salad in soup form because of the wine vinegar and oil that’s blended into it. So basically it’s like a pureed salad with a tangy vinaigrette included.
I love it.
The added bonus is that it’s extremely healthy!
Honestly, I never thought I’d be so crazy about gazpacho. Mainly because I’m not quite fond of raw tomatoes. But now I consider myself gazpacho’s #1 fan. And I find myself craving it often especially during the hot summer days. I also crave a lot of ice cream. But I think… I think gazpacho is healthier. And I don’t have to worry about controlling my portions. I could easily have another scoop. I mean, another bowl of gazpacho.
Reminder to self. Don’t overfill a jar with gazpacho and add croutons afterwards.
A mess may occur.
- 3-4 ripe tomatoes
- 1 garlic clove
- 1/2 bell pepper (roughly chopped)
- 1/2 cucumber (roughly chopped)
- 1/4 cup onion (roughly chopped)
- 1/2 cup tomato sauce
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 tablespoons vinegar
- 1 1/2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- salt and pepper (to taste)
- spanish paprika, croutons, boiled eggs, chopped vegetables (for topping)
Adapted from: Other Spain
Tip: For a smoother soup, roast the bell pepper on the stove or oven broiler until charred. Transfer to a brown paper bag to allow it to steam and wait for it to cool down before peeling. You could also strain the soup instead.
|First blanch tomatoes by boiling them briefly in water. Add the garlic clove with the tomatoes if you don't like the flavor of raw garlic. Then allow tomatoes to cool down before remove the peel. Chop into a measuring cup until you have roughly 1 1/2 cups of chopped tomatoes.|
|Transfer tomatoes to the blender. Don't forget the garlic. Add bell pepper, cucumber, onions, tomato sauce, and water. Blend until smooth. Add vinegar and oil. Blend again. Taste and adjust with salt and pepper. Pour into a jar or any airtight container and chill in the refrigerator.|
|Serve cold and top with whatever toppings you desire. Croutons, hard boiled eggs, chopped bell peppers and cucumbers are good choices. I also like to drizzle some more vinegar on top and sprinkle a little smoked paprika.|