I love to have soup all year round but let’s face it, when the temperatures are in the 90s with 100% humidity it’s a bit difficult to enjoy a piping hot cup of soup. That’s when a nice refreshing bowl of iced cold Gazpacho hits the spot. Packed with lots of vegetables and vitamins it’s just what your body is craving.
So the next time you’re in the mood for a healthy meal but don’t feel like standing over hot coals or cooking up something on the stove or in the oven why not whip up a batch of Gazpacho in your blender or food processor?
Here’s a great recipe that’s so simple. For the best results make it a day ahead to let the flavors meld together. I just know you’re going to love this.
1/3 cup dry sherry
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 cup low sodium tomato juice
1 (28 oz.) can San Marzanotomatoes*
4 slices French or Italian Bread, cut into 1″ slices. Crust removed and bread slices, cubed
1 small red onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 yellow or red bell pepper, seeded and diced
2 cucumbers, peeled, halved, seeded and diced or 1 English cucumber
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
In a small bowl, whisk together the sherry, vinegar and tomato juice. Set aside.
In a blender/food processor, working in batches, combine the tomatoes and bread and puree until smooth, 30-40 seconds. Transfer to a large bowl. In the blender, combine the onion, garlic and a little of the sherry mixture and puree until smooth. Add to the bowl with the tomato puree. In the blender/processor, combine the bell pepper, cucumbers and a little of the sherry mixture and pulse until coarsely chopped. Add to the bowl with the tomato puree. Whisk in the olive oil and the remaining sherry mixture, and season with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate until well chilled, at least two hours. For the best results chill for 24 hours.
Taste the soup and adjust the seasonings with salt and pepper. Ladle into chilled bowls and garnish each serving with diced bell peppers, minced onion and croutons if desired.
*Note: Several summers ago I traveled to Italy. While there I took a culinary class and although they had the most incredible fresh tomatoes they used San Marzano tomatoes in their recipes. Their flavor is superior!