August 21, 2012

Gazpacho - Cold Tomato Soup


It's the end of summer and I love this time of year. For me, it's the change in seasons that I adore. When winter ends and spring begins I feel alive and joyful. When summer warmth comes I am ready to run around in flip flops and tank tops. I have to say, I really think fall is my favorite. Warm days with crisp nights. We get out the marshmallows and drag branches to the fire pit for smores bonfires with friends. We go camping and hang out watching the starts. Fall is bliss.

I've worked all summer long, in the garden and the harvest is paying off, but these days my garden is winding down. The beans are finished, the squash kaput, the peppers producing less each day. Today we pulled up two dead tomato plants, but at least the other are still going. We have different varieties of tomatoes planted. Last year I introduced the mini orange ones and they were amazing. This year, my new plants were Cherokee Purple and Mr. Stripey heirloom. Both had interesting color, but tasted not as bold as the traditional Better Boy that is our mainstay. They were also not as pest resistant. In fact, I'm pretty sure more bugs enjoyed my Mr. Stripey than I did! 

Better Boy, Purple Cherokee, Mr. Stripey all ready for soup
I did can (that soooo should be "jar") some of these tomatoes, which I will share with you tomorrow. It was pretty easy considering I usually only can jam. The canning jars look beautiful with the different color tomatoes in them.

Today however, I wanted to enjoy the end of summer. Today I made gazpacho. I have to say, I've never...ever had gazpacho. I'm sure it wasn't for lack of it being offered. My Mom loves the stuff, so I know she tried to get me to like it. I always declined. As usual, my Mom was right, I should have come around much sooner than this.

I'm pretty sure it was the name that put me off. It sounds so...so....tough. Like it might grow hair on your chest tough. Like take your lunch money away tough. Gestapo tough. I was intimidated. But as I've said before with souffle - wusiness needs to be confronted. I had to make this stuff. I'm proud to say...

I...have..conquered...gazpacho!!! And I actually liked it.

Of course, now that means I want you to conquer gazpacho as well (or at least be able to spell it). You may be an old pro at it like my Mom, or you may be a wussy newbie like me, but if you like fresh tomatoes, you are going to love this recipe. All you need is a food processor - no cooking involved. That's my kinda summer cooking.

Gazpacho
from Southern Living

8 tomatoes, peeled and chopped (I used several types of tomatoes, just be sure they are flavorful and ripe)
2 cucumbers, peeled and seeded
1 large bell pepper
1 small red onion, peeled
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded
1 large clove garlic
1- 32 oz bottle of tomato or vegetable juice
1 lemon, need 1 tbsp zest, 1/4 c juice
1/3 c red wine vinegar
2 dashes of hot sauce
3 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp paprika
sour cream
avocado

Cut tomatoes, cucumbers, pepper, and onion into quarters. Put all the chopped vegetables, the jalapeno and the garlic into the food processor. Pulse until chunky (or you can keep going til it's smooth if you don't like texture in your soup), scraping the sides when necessary. Pour into a large plastic container and add the rest of the ingredients. Stir, cover and put in the fridge for at least 8 hours or overnight.

Serve with sour cream and a sliced avocado. 

If the Tomato Peach Salad is summer on a fork, this is summer on a spoon! Thanks Mom for having patience and letting me grow into my taste buds.
 
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5 comments:

  1. So what did the kids think? Are they even more adventurous than their Mommy?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They liked it - I can't say the loved it. :)

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  2. Aimee, this sounds wonderful. I made gazpacho last week but had to omit the peppers as my daughter has an allergy to them. It was good but I missed the peppers, they really give it pizazz! Love your pictures!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Yeah for your conquering! This looks delicious, especially with the avocado! I am making Pad Thai for dinner, but I think I could be easily persuaded to change it up. If only I had those beautiful tomatoes in my garden......

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hi there. Food on Friday: Tomatoes is open for entries. This looks like a neat one! I do hope you link it in. This is the link . Cheers

    ReplyDelete

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