Posted by: Hil | July 13, 2008

Best Summer Gazpacho

To make up for my boring food the last 24 hours, I present you with the recipe for the amazing gazpacho my mom made for our 4th of July dinner.  It’s from the All Around the World Cookbook by Sheila Lukins (of Silver Palate fame).  It’s one of my favorite summer things…fresh, colorful and bursting with flavor.

Mexican Gazpacho

2 red bell peppers, halved lengthwise and roasted
2 cups tomato juice
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1/3 cup EVOO
1/3 cup coarsely chopped red onion
1 hothouse (seedless) cucumber, peeled and coarsely chopped
1 large red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and coarsely chopped
4 ripe plum tomatoes, cored and coarsely chopped
salt and coarsely ground pepper, to taste
2 dashes Tobasco sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 ripe avocado, preferably Haas, pitted, peeled, and finely diced, for garnish
2 hard-cooked eggs, coarsely chopped, for garnish

Random notes on the ingredients:  1.  There is one serious flaw with this recipe:  it has no cilantro!  What kind of gazpacho doesn’t have cilantro?!  So we always add a generous amount of cilantro to the batch.  2.  The garnishes are strictly optional…we generally omit them when we serve this as an appetizer or side dish.  3.  Don’t be scared of the amount of olive oil…this makes a good two liters of soup and will give you many servings.  The olive oil enhances all of the flavors and makes the soup filling enough to be a meal all on its own. 

The original recipe includes complicated pureeing instructions, but we just stick it all in a blender and hit the button.  My mom’s blender is pretty big, so if you have a smaller blender, you may need to puree the soup in batches.

The prep for this can take awhile, but it goes much, much faster if you can get a second set of hands to help prep the veggies.  I think of this as a time consuming recipe, but my mom and I whipped out a batch of this extremely fast working together.  And, as mentioned above, this makes a huge batch, so if you can find time once, you’ll have many meals worth of delicious soup waiting in your fridge.

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