Rustic Summer Gazpacho (Soup)
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ red onion, diced
3 stalks celery, diced
1 medium zucchini, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
1 purple bell pepper, diced
1 large cucumber (peeled if necessary),diced
2 c. diced fresh tomatoes (If you use whole medium size tomatoes, I’d say you’ll need 5, maybe? I used 9 tomatoes from my garden that I had to cut huge chunks off of).
Salt and pepper to taste
2 TBSP pure cane sugar
¼ c. red wine vinegar
Hot sauce, to taste (I probably used a dozen dashes of Cholula. You could also add diced jalapeño, or crushed red pepper flakes. I went for the easiest source of heat/flavor).
32 oz. tomato juice, divided
¼ c. extra virgin olive oil
*Note re: ingredients:Gazpacho is a lovely dish… You can pretty much throw anything in it – and it will probably still taste good. Feel free to substitute things in or out… any color bell peppers will work. Don’t care for onions? (oh, the horror!), leave them out, etc.
* Note re: tomatoes:We basically had a monsoon last week, and as a result a lot of my near-ripe tomatoes “split”. I took 9 medium sized tomatoes, and cut off the splits and blemishes, to make this gazpacho. Obviously, you can use perfect tomatoes for this as well.
Dice your veggies and divide all in half. (I didn’t measure, I just made lots of piles!). Half is going to go in the food processor to blitz, and half is going to be stirred in as-is for chunkiness and texture.
No need to be too precious while slicing and dicing… this is a rustic soup, after all! We’re not looking for a brunoise here… this isn’t Top Chef!
Combine all of the garlic with half of each of the veggies (onion, tomatoes, cuke, zucchini, celery and bell peppers). Add 2 c. of the tomato juice, all of the olive oil, red wine vinegar, sugar, hot sauce, and some salt and pepper.
PULSE your food processor (or blender) until everything is well mixed. Don’t completely puree… small bits, like a nice colorful confetti, is what we are going for here…
Pour into a large bowl and add the remaining tomato juice (2 cups), and the remaining diced veggies. Give everything a good stir, and taste for seasonings. Add more salt, pepper, hot sauce, vinegar or sugar – to taste, if necessary. Stir mixture together and check seasonings, adding salt again if needed.
Chill soup for 2 hours, if possible. (I didn’t make it the full 2 hours, and it was still delicious! I brought leftovers for lunch today, and am super excited).
Serve cold, with a dollop of plain Greek yogurt as I did… or other delicious toppings such as sour cream, fresh avocado, cilantro or basil!
Topped with a dollop of plain Greek yogurt and served with a heavy schmear of hummus on toast, and a glass of wine – this makes a lovely summer supper.
This made approx. 10 cups of soup.