Before a few weeks ago, I have to admit the idea of Gazpacho never really appealed to me. I mean, cold soup?! Shouldn’t soup be warm and comforting?
I tried it for the first time at our friend Katie’s early ‘thanksgiving in August’ party. I think it was the addition of the avocados that did it. Anyone who knows me, knows I love avocados and well if the avocados are partying with the Gazpacho, I’ll party with the Gazpacho too!
I ended up having three portions of her Gazpacho. It. Was. Delicious. It was refreshing and light. It reminded me of salsa in soup form, but better.
Given that it has been about 100 degree F (40 C) in L.A. right now, I new that this was a great time to make Gazpacho. It is so hot that the thought of turning on the oven makes me melt inside.
To give you an idea of how hot it is, picture Brian and me with our heads in the fridge and freezer in order to gain some kind of momentary relief. Yes – That happened.
Traditionally Gazpacho is made with bread which gives it its’ unique texture but I wanted make this a little healthier and focus purely on the veggies. The flavour was still very much the same. I also didn’t have any bread in the house. If you were so inclined however, you could add in a slice of white bread and purée thoroughly with the soup. Either way is delicious!
Oh and try to avoid adding in tomato soup. If your veggies are fresh and sweet enough, they will do all the work!
Also, I am well aware that I use different spellings for things from time to time like 'flavour' on these blogs - that is just the internal daily struggle to write things American versus English. I do know how to spell.
And if you are wondering - cilantro IS coriander. They just give two names to the same thing to confuse expatriates. TOOK ME MONTHS TO FIGURE IT OUT.
Also whilst I am on the topic; a zucchini is also called an italian squash which is really a courgette. Aubergines are egg plants and orange squash (the drink) is not a thing.
Gazpacho (3-4 servings)
- 2 tbsps. chopped cilantro/coriander, basil or parsley
- 1 small cucumber (They call them English cucumbers in places that aren't England)
- 1 small red bell pepper
- ½ red onion
- 2 garlic gloves, crushed
- 4 very ripe tomatoes (preferably the kind you grow yourself or from a farmer's market)
- 2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 lemon
- pinch cayenne, to taste
- Ground black pepper, to taste
- Separate half of all the main veggies (tomatoes, cucumber, red pepper, onion) and put into a blender or food processor with the garlic, balsamic vinegar and squeezed lemon. Puree until smooth and then put into a large bowl.
- Put the remaining tomatoes, cucumber, pepper and onion into the blender and pulse the ingredients for a few seconds so that it coarsely purees and is still quite chunky. Mix the chunky ingredients with the smoothly pureed ingredients. You can adjust how much you pulse the ingredients for either chunkier or smoother gazpacho.
- Finally add the remaining seasoning to suit your tastes; salt, pepper, cayenne and cilantro.
- Chill for a couple of hours to let the flavors mix in. Before serving, check if it needs any additional seasoning.
- Serve with chopped avocado and a small garnish of cilantro.