Gazpacho is basically a liquid salad consisting of finely diced, super fresh vegetables and tomato juice served as a cold soup. Made with vine-ripe tomatoes, bell peppers, cucumbers, garlic, olive oil and a splash of good vinegar, this delicious soup has been popular for centuries.
- 5 cups tomatoes, diced
- 3 cups tomato juice, ice cold
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 red onion, diced
- 1 large cucumber, diced
- 1 bell pepper, diced
- 1 zucchini, diced (optional)
- 2 tsp. fresh herbs (oregano, thyme, basil, cilantro, or parsley), finely chopped
- 1 tbsp. sugar
- 2 tbsp. red wine vinegar
- 3/4 tsp. smoked paprika
- 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
- 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper (optional)
- Salt and black pepper to taste
- Extra Virgin olive oil, for drizzling
- Sour cream (optional)
- Fresh croutons (optional)
In a food processor or blender, combine the minced garlic with half the red onion, half the cucumber, half the tomato, half the zucchini, half the celery, half the tomato juice, olive oil, red wine vinegar, sugar, spices, herbs of your choosing and a dash of salt. Pulse until all ingredients are blended well and mixture has a speckled, colorful texture.
Pour into a large bowl and add the rest of the tomato juice. Add the remaining onion, cucumber, tomato, zucchini and celery. Stir and check seasonings, adding salt if needed.
Chill soup for several hours before serving, or add a few ice cubes to chill more quickly. Ladle into a bowl and garnish with your favorite topping, such as a dollop of sour cream, croutons, chopped cilantro, a sliver of fresh avocado or even a scoop of fresh crab meat. Serve with slices of grilled bread.
- Courtesy of Atlanta food blogger Denise Romeo of We Like to Cook!, www.welike2cook.com