Making the Most of Summer’s Bounty: Classic Gazpacho
The weather is finally cooling down and it seems that at long last our summer has waned. It wasn’t long enough for many of us, but the extended heat helped many local farms push through and maximize the hot crops that bring so many delicious summer flavors to our table.
In an effort to get the most out of the summer I urge you to can, preserve, freeze or just plain eat everything in sight. These late summer tomatoes and cucumbers are delicious paired with some sweet peppers and scallions in this simple, wholesome, yet flavorful version of classic gazpacho.
Though some recipes call for a bit of oil in the sauce and a few chunks of blended bread to give it a denser weight on the palate, we’re avoiding gluten and oils right now as part of our change of the seasons cleanse—except for the odd splash of olive oil for cooking—this recipe contains neither.
I’ve found that serving it without bread doesn’t effect the consistency too much, instead I blend a couple cups of the finished soup together with the seeded tomato cores for liquid.
As for the oil, a little dish and spoon, along with a small dish for salt, let’s each guest decide for themselves what they’d like. This soup is served cold as a starter or as a quick lunch and can be eaten with chips, crackers, pita bread or just a spoon. Though some versions blend all the ingredients together, creating a coarse, chunky sauce, I prefer the texture and flavor of the larger cubes.
Heirloom tomatoes, variety in peppers and perfectly ripened cucumbers make this soup sensational. To take the flavor of summer tomatoes with you into fall try making slow-roasted tomatoes and canning them preserved in olive oil.
- 3-5 medium sized tomatoes
- 1 1/2 large cucumbers
- 3 medium sweet peppers
- 3 small cloves garlic
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp freshly ground pepper
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- Cut the tomatoes in half, removing the inside seeds and pulp, save to the side. Dice into 1/4-inch pieces in a large bowl. Peel and half cucumbers. With a spoon remove seeds and discard. Cut lengthwise in 1/4-inch strips then dice. Place in bowl with tomatoes. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt and toss.
- Seed and dice peppers 1/4-inch and add to mixture. Finely mince garlic and add to mixture. In a food processor add tomato cores and 2 cups of mixture. Blend until smooth, add back into mixture with salt, pepper and vinegar.
- If serving immediately, mix in about 8 ice cubes, tossing until chilled. Otherwise cover and refrigerate for at least one hour for flavors to mix.