The second half of this month's Barefoot Bloggers brings us GAZPACHO as selected by Meryl from My Bit of Earth. That "perfect" summer soup -- chilled fresh veggies all mixed together to bring joy to your tastebuds. Well, that is, if you like cold soup? I never really was a fan of cold soup. To me, I thought that soup should be hot and if not hot, well, at least warm.
In any case though, as the days are getting hotter here, I welcomed the chance to try gazpacho again. And I wasn't disappointed! I actually quite liked this soup. My husband raved about it and took some with him when he went to go visit his mom -- and she loved it too. I liked how Ina left the soup chunky so you could actually taste each of the different vegetables.
I also definitely agree with Ina's recommendation -- the longer you let the soup sit and blend all together, the richer the flavors. The colors were bright and cheery and so was the flavor.
Would I make it again? Sure! It was rather easy to throw together and I think it would be fantastic at a summer barbecue party. Do I find myself personally craving it? Well, probably not. But I wouldn't be opposed to having it again.
As for variations, I read the other day about a more "southwestern" spin on gazpacho that I think would be dee-li-cious. Next time, I think I'll doctor up the gazpacho with some avocados (some pureed, some chunky) and fresh corn. And maybe, a bit of Tabasco or hot sauce for that extra kick. Yum.
The Recipe: Barefoot Contessa's Gazpacho
- 1 hothouse cucumber, halved and seeded, but not peeled
- 2 red bell peppers, cored and seeded
- 4 plum tomatoes
- 1 red onion
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 23 ounces tomato juice (3 cups)
- 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
- 1/4 cup good olive oil
- 1/2 tablespoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
Roughly chop the cucumbers, bell peppers, tomatoes, and red onions into 1-inch cubes. Put each vegetable separately into a food processor fitted with a steel blade and pulse until it is coarsely chopped. Do not overprocess!
After each vegetable is processed, combine them in a large bowl and add the garlic, tomato juice, vinegar, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Mix well and chill before serving. The longer gazpacho sits, the more the flavors develop.