This time of summer provides the greatest rewards for gardeners, master or novice.
Gardens teem with ripe tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers and much more. It delights me most when my tomatoes, peppers, onions and cucumbers all ripen at the same time. All serve as key ingredients for my favorite summer soup — Gazpacho.
Gazpacho originated in Spain. A variety of raw vegetables go into this easy-to-make cold soup, perfect for weather. Gazpacho works perfectly as an appetizer, but you also can serve it as a meal.
2 large cucumbers
2 green peppers, cored and seeded
4 large tomatoes or 8 plum tomatoes, cored
1 small red onion, minced
4 garlic cloves, minced (equal to 1 tablespoon)
½ cup red wine vinegar
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon of freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon of kosher salt
1 small can (11-½ ounces) of V-8 Juice (optional)
First taste each cucumber for bitterness. Peeling it might get rid of the bitterness. Cut the cucumbers, peppers, tomatoes and red onions all into 1-inch pieces.
Using the steel blade in your food processor, chop each vegetable and then transfer to a large bowl. With all of the vegetables chopped and in the bowl, add the vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper and blend well.
At this point ,taste it for consistency and seasoning. You might find you like it thicker, or want to leave it alone. But, I’ve found one small can of V-8 thins it ever so slightly.
None of the measurements has to be exact, but this is a great place to start. As with most any soup, the longer it chills or rests, the better it tastes.
Before serving, stir again. For the finishing touch, add a dollop of sour cream and garnish with some fresh chopped chives, basil leaves or chopped avocado.