Written by: Brandy Tackett
~3 lbs tomatoes (“vine” tomatoes work well)
2 cups cucumber, chopped (& peeled)
1 cup red bell pepper, seeded & chopped
1 cup onion, chopped
1-2 jalapeños, seeded & chopped
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup olive oil
juice from 2 limes
4 tsp balsamic vinegar
4 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp ground cumin
1-2 tsp salt (to taste)
1-2 tsp ground black pepper
2-3 large bowls
Since my cravings for cuisines other than Japanese never end, I recently decided to make a pot of gazpacho. This Spanish tomato-based soup is delicious, healthy and easy. The only struggle is chopping the impressive amount of vegetables that go into it. Anyone with a pot and a cutting board can make this. Seriously. Would I lie to you?
To start, fill a large pot with water, put it on high heat and let it come to a boil. While your water is prepping, attack that beautiful spread of vegetables with a knife.
Make a small X on the bottom of each tomato. In a minute, you’ll blanch those babies, and the pre-cut X will help with removing the skins after. Be careful you don’t cut too deep, though!
Now go after the other vegetables. Chop the onion, red bell pepper, and cucumber. It’s your choice to peel the cucumber or not. I do, because I think the peels give the finished gazpacho a slightly bitter taste. If you don’t want to waste them, save them and toss them into a salad another day.
Move on to the last veggies–the boiling water can wait. Seed the jalapeños, and then mince them, along with the garlic cloves.
Put all of your vegetables (except the tomatoes) into a large bowl and set them aside.
Next, prepare an ice bath–put some ice and cold water in a large bowl (or pot, or whatever you’ve got).
Take your X-marked tomatoes and gently slide them into the boiling water. After 15 seconds, scoop out the tomatoes and put them in the ice bath for about a minute. While the tomatoes are cooling, set a strainer (preferably fine mesh) over a bowl.
Using the X as a starting point, remove the skin from your tomatoes. Then core and seed them, placing the seeds and pulp into the strainer. After you’ve finished coring and seeding, start chopping the tomatoes. Make them roughly the same size as the other veggies you already chopped.
Add the chopped tomatoes to the bowlful of veggies. Isn’t it colorful?
Take the bowl of juice from the pulp/seeds and add bottled or canned tomato juice until you have a total of about 2 cups. Add the tomato juice, olive oil, lime juice, balsamic vinegar, Worcestershire and cumin to the veggies. Stir well.
From here you have two choices:
- You can take this lovely, fragrant veggie medley, pop it in the fridge for 2-4 hours, then enjoy.
- If you have the desire and a blender, purée about 3 cups of the veggie mix, return it to the bowl, and THEN put it in the fridge.
It’s really a question of how chunky you want the soup.
Once the soup has chilled, dish out a bowlful. This is excellent with a little basil thrown in and served with some crusty bread.
Don’t want to take my word for it? Here are some quotes from friends:
“Holy moly, that was the most godly good thing I’ve had in a long time! So refreshing!” – Danny Matson
“That was better than maple syrup.” – Aleck Skeie