Gazpacho

Hi, everyone! Good to see you again! It’s been a while! Did you miss me? I thought so. Don’t worry though; I’m back. I took this weekend off to relax and go camping with Kyle because I FINALLY GRADUATED! I’ve been working my bum off for 5 years, and now I can finally say that I’m a college grad. It feels good, y’all, and also a little bit terrifying. I’ve been a student for the past 17 years of my life, so it’s kinda scary to think that now I have to build a whole new routine from the ground up. But the world is my oyster, and ultimately, I’m excited. Stay tuned for life updates!

My short break from blogging left me feeling refreshed and inspired, so today, I’m sharing a recipe that’s ~almost~ as refreshing as a vacation on the lake. I’d never actually had gazpacho before, but a friend recommended that I try making it, and I’m so glad I did! I made a big dish of it and there were no leftovers. It’s delicious, slightly spicy, and perfect for a hot, humid summer day.

For those of you who don’t know, gazpacho is a chilled soup hailing from southern Spain. It’s widely eaten in Spain and Portugal, and it’s a perfect way to celebrate the bounty of fresh produce that summer gives us. If you’re leery about cold soup, don’t worry. This soup is made to be cold; it’s not going to be anything like cold leftover soup. I’m a big soup lover, but unfortunately, Michigan summers are just too humid to have a big pot of hot soup simmering on the stove. So gazpacho is the perfect compromise!

Some gazpacho recipes call for canned tomato juice, but I just couldn’t get on board with that. There’s something about it that just tastes canned, and I wanted the fresh produce to really shine in my recipe. I did add a slice of white bread to make it more full-bodied and soup-like; typically, I don’t buy any sort of white bread, but I think that whole wheat might end up marring the flavors a bit. If anyone tries it with wheat bread, let me know! I’d love to hear about the result.

Lastly, this is not a soup that you can pull off with semi-ripe tomatoes. Only go for it if you have access to big, red, juicy, sweet tomatoes, or the soup won’t taste like much of anything. I wish I could make it year-round—that’s how good it is—but the beauty of seasonal recipes is that you get to look forward to them all year!

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Gazpacho

Prep Time: 10 mins   |   Serves: 6–8

Ingredients

  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 3 large, red, ripe tomatoes, preferably heirloom
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded
  • ½ English cucumber, seeded
  • ½ medium red onion
  • 1 small jalapeño, seeded
  • 1 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • ½ tsp red wine vinegar or white vinegar
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • ⅛ tsp ground coriander
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 slice white bread, like french or Italian, torn into large pieces
  • optional: ½ tsp sugar or maple syrup, or more or less to taste
  • Diced peppers and cucumbers, for garnish

Instructions

  1. Combine the olive oil and crushed garlic in a small bowl and let sit for 5 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, roughly chop vegetables into large pieces and place in blender. Add soaked garlic and reserve olive oil.
  3. Add lemon juice, vinegar, cumin, coriander, salt and pepper.
  4. Blend, starting on low speed and working up to high speed, until smooth. If necessary to smooth it out, add the reserved olive oil.
  5. Add bread and blend for 30–60 more seconds, or until smooth.
  6. Taste and adjust seasonings, adding sweetener if necessary.
  7. Serve topped with diced peppers and cucumbers.

Notes

  • Soaking the garlic isn’t completely necessary, but it mellows out the harsh bite of raw garlic. I like to take the extra step so I’m not breathing fire afterwards.
  • You may need to add a touch of sweetener, depending on the natural sweetness of your tomatoes. Don’t add it before tasting, though, because the tomatoes might be sweet enough on their own.
  • This soup would also be great topped with avocado and cilantro!

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