Gazpacho

Just the thing for a hot, sweltering summer day! A COLD soup!  This is a touch of Spain in a cup, bowl or glass.  You decide how you want to eat or drink it!  Goes down like a smoothie or a minced vegetable soup, and no cooking required!  There are many versions of gazpacho with all manner of ingredients, even in the Andalusian, southern region of Spain from which it originated, but here is the basic one that is still identifiable as the “original” Gazpacho.  It’s a favorite of the Spanish.  And may become yours, too.

Ingredients:

4 ripe tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and chopped (to peel, immerse in boiling water for 30 seconds)

2 cloves of garlic, minced

1/2 cup red onion, chopped

1/2 cup bell pepper, red, yellow or green, chopped

1/2 cup cucumber, peeled and chopped

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

1/4 cup lemon juice (approximately 1 large lemon)

2 cups vegetable broth

2 tbls apple cider vinegar

2 tbls chopped basil

2 tbls chopped cilantro

2 tbls. Italian parsley

1/4 tsp cumin powder (optional)

Salt and pepper to taste

1 large avocado sliced or chopped for garnish (optional)

Croutons for garnish (optional)

For a chunky texture, combine all ingredients and serve after chilling  for one hour, with or without garnishing.   Refreshing!

OR:

For a smoothie, pureed texture, combine all ingredients except toppings in a blender or food processor.  Process until smooth. Refrigerate for about one hour and serve.  If serving in a bowl to be eaten with a spoon add a topping of sliced or chopped avocado or croutons.  If thinned enough, can be drunk from a cup or a glass.  Bon Appetit! or in Spanish, Buen Provecho! or, simply, Enjoy!

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