Gardens and Farmers Markets are teeming with resplendent tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, squash and herbs right now. Take advantage of the last days of summer and chop up a refreshing, cold gazpacho soup. Sharpen your knife, it is worth the effort. No cooking involved.
This photo illustrates the 1/4 inch dice. Hand-chopping helps retain vibrant color and firm texture of vegetables.
photos by me
Serve the Gazpacho with a dollop of sour cream.
This recipe is based on a recipe from Cook's Illustrated.
Makes about 3 quarts and serves 8-10
3 medium beefsteak tomatoes (about 1 1/2 lbs) cored and cut into 1/4 inch dice, about 4 cups
2 small red bell peppers (about 1 lb) cored, seeded and cut into 1/4 inch dice, about 2 cups
2 small cucumbers (about 1 lb) one peeled and one with skin on, both seeded and cut into 1/4 inch dice, about 2 cups
1 small, sweet onions, peeled and chopped
2 med garlic cloves, minced
1 or 2 hot chilies, cored, seeded and cut into very small dice (optional, to taste)
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
2 teaspoons salt
1/3 cup vinegar (balsamic, red wine or sherry vinegar)
ground black pepper
5 cups tomato juice
1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce (optional)
sour cream or olive oil for garnish
Combine tomatoes and their juices, peppers, cucumbers, onions, garlic, salt, vinegar, pepper to taste in large nonreactive bowl. Let stand until vegetables just begin to release their juices, about 5 minutes. Stir in tomato juice, hot pepper sauce, cilantro. Cover and refrigerate to blend flavors at least 4 hours. Taste before serving and adjust seasoning if needed, adding salt, pepper or hot pepper sauce.
Serve and garnish with a drizzle of olive oil or a dollop of sour cream.
note: for a quicker version, use same ingredients but pulse in food processor to achieve 1/4 to 3/4 inch pieces. Proceed as directed above.