Easy Gazpacho


This is my go-to recipe for delicious and satisfying gazpacho. And now that we are in peak tomato season, it’s an easy meal, despite what might appear like a long and arduous process — it is not! Read it thru a few times, make it once, and you will see how simple it is. The recipe serves 4-6 and hails from the website www.thekitchn.com. Do try it, please.

1 ½ – 2 lbs. ripe tomatoes
2 thick slices day-old bread
1 medium cucumber
1 shallot
1-2 cloves garlic
2 Tbsp sherry vinegar
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
salt and pepper

Optional Extra Ingredients:
Whiz these into the soup or chop them up for garnishing the top.

Other Vegetables:  1 red pepper, 1 green pepper, 1 fennel bulb, 3-4 tomatillos, 1 avocado, 1 c corn kernels
Instead of Bread:  Handful of almonds or other nut
Instead of Vinegar:  2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar, 2 Tbsp red wine vinegar, juice from one orange, or 1-2 lemons, or 2-3 limes
Spices & Herbs (2-3 tsp each):  cumin, smoked paprika, basil, marjoram, tarragon, chile powder
Other Flavoring Extras:  splash red or white wine, or hot sauce

1. Prepare your ingredients: Quarter the tomatoes and remove the stem. Tear the bread into large chunks. Peel and roughly chop the cucumber, shallots, and garlic. Roughly chop or measure any extra ingredients being added. Set aside some of these vegetables for garnishing the finished gazpacho.

2. Combine the tomatoes and bread: Put all the bread pieces into the bowl of a food processor or blender. Squeeze the tomato quarters over the bread then add them to the bowl. Let this sit for about 20 minutes to give the bread time to absorb the tomato juices and soften.

If you prefer a thinner gazpacho, omit the bread and continue to the next step.

3. Make the Gazpacho: Pulse the tomatoes and bread until they form a rough porridge. Add the cucumber, shallots, garlic, vinegar, and a half teaspoon of salt. If you are using any other extra ingredients, add them in this step. Process continuously until the ingredients are liquefied. A food processor will make gazpacho with more texture; a blender or immersion blender will make the gazpacho smoother.

4. Blend in the Olive Oil: With the blender running, stream in the olive oil. This helps it emulsify more evenly into the soup.

5. Taste and Adjust Seasonings: Taste the soup. Add salt or vinegar to taste. If you’d like it thinner, blend in a little water.

6. Chill the Soup: Transfer the soup to a storage container and refrigerate until chilled. This soup often tastes better the second day after the flavors have had time to settle with each other. Serve the soup garnished with reserved vegetables.

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