Gazpacho

Yet another sign of Summer – fresh gazpacho!  I just love this stuff.  Tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers all come in at the same time in Central Virginia so the beginning of July starts gazpacho season.  This is another one of those things that has a million recipes.  Some people chop everything by hand because they like a really chunky gazpacho.  Other people, including me, go the food processor route.  It’s quick and chops things fine without liquifying them.  Some people go the blender route to get a smoother soup with a little foam on it.  Try them all!

Tonight I used two Hanover tomatoes and an orange tomato of some variety.  Orange and yellow tomatoes are lower in acid so it’s nice to include one or two.  I had half a sweet onion and half an orange bell pepper.  I usually include a jalapeno, but I didn’t have one so no hot peppers in this batch.  Raw garlic adds a little bite to it though.  Tonight’s secret ingredient is green Tabasco.  I thought that would add a little salt and a touch of heat.  I left the herbs out of this batch so that I can add basil when that goes best with the rest of the meal and cilantro when that works better.  Tonight was a basil night.

There aren’t many things that beat good gazpacho.  Maybe I like it so much because it’s a Summer thing and I love the Summer.  Maybe I like it because it’s a great cool lunch on a hot day.  Maybe I like it because it’s pretty filling, but has virtually no fat and not many calories if you make it fresh.  In my book that’s a license to eat as much of it as I want.  You can top it with croutons or dill or corn or a little smoked salmon.  You can serve it as the centerpiece of a light meal or in shot glasses as a starter.  It’s so versatile and so fresh and so good.  It’s like someone poured the farmers’ market into a bowl.  And pretty too!

Good? Way beyond good.
Easy? Yep.
Good for company? Absolutely
Special shopping? Get really fresh ingredients. It makes a big difference.

Gazpacho

Ingredients

1 1/2 pounds of tomatoes, red or red and orange mixed (about 3 large)
1 large cucumber, peeled and seeded
1 clove garlic, peeled
1/2 orange bell pepper, seeded
1/2 large sweet onion
3 t balsamic vinegar
1 t Worchestershire sauce
juice of 1 lime
1 t green Tabasco
1/4 C olive oil
salt
pepper

Directions

Put all ingredients in a food processor and pulse until desired consistency.
Top with fresh cilantro or basil.

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