What you’ll need from the market:
4 cups of roughly chopped ripe Summer Tomatoes or Plum Tomatoes during the shoulder season (about 1.5 lbs)
1.5 cups roughly chopped Seedless Cucumber – if they are not available to you or you’re using regular cucumbers out of your garden, be sure to cut the cucumber in half lengthwise and remove the seeds with a spoon.
1 cup roughly chopped Carrot (1 carrot should do it)
1 small Red Bell Pepper, seeded, de-ribbed and roughly chopped
1/2 cup roughly chopped Red Onion
4 cups Tomato Juice – add more as needed
1/4 cup Red Wine Vinegar
1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 teaspoons Kosher Salt
2 teaspoons finely chopped Garlic
Additional Fixings: Sometimes I like to add fresh zucchini. I always add fresh ground Pepper and Tabasco Sauce as needed – and a pinch or two of Sugar (optional) will bring out the intensity of the tomato flavor.
Alternative Ingredients: A handful of fresh herbs; parsley, basil or cilantro work well. A chopped jalapeño is also great for added kick. Add this after you blend the soup. Fancy a creamier soup? Grab a container of sour cream while you’re at the store.Method: Please Note – while you certainly can prepare this delicious Gazpacho without one, you’ll find using a food processor for this recipe a godsend!
Combine the roughly chopped tomatoes, cucumber, carrot, bell pepper, red onion in a large bowl.
Outfit your food processor with a steel blade – and pulse the vegetables in two batches until coarsely chopped. Do not over process the vegetables. You should be able to recognize the crunch of individual veggies.
Transfer the vegetables into a large bowl and add the tomato juice, vinegar, extra virgin olive oil, Kosher salt, garlic and pepper to taste, Tabasco sauce and sugar, if desired. Stir to combine the flavors. Add more tomato juice as necessary to achieve the desired thickness.
Cover and refrigerate for at least four hours – or better yet – overnight. Just before you serve it, adjust the seasoning by adding more Vinegar, Kosher Salt, Pepper, Fresh Herbs or Tabasco as needed. Top the soup with a dollop of Sour Cream (or not) and toast some crispy garlic bread to serve on the side. Enjoy your evening on the screened-in porch!Take note: this recipe is from The Bride & Groom First and Forever Cookbook. I received the book as a wedding shower present back in 2006 and have been making Garden Gazpacho from it every Summer since.BTW: Aren’t these cheery yellow diamond pattern Pine Cone Hill placemats about the happiest dining table decor that you ever saw? I danced a little jig when I found a set of four placemats in a gift bag from Annie Selke as we departed the Berkshires a few weeks ago. The very best part is that I purchased twelve Tortola ticking-stripe napkins at the outlet earlier in the day that just happen to have that same fabulous yellow running through them. The bowl is by a clay artist named Kristin Nelson. I own only one, so it is reserved for meals when I am dining alone. All these tabletop pieces are so darn happy – it’s as if they were meant to be together on our tabletop!