For me, Gazpacho has always been a dish that I am on the fence about. Never quite right. It could be that raw green peppers are not my favorite which are in many versions and there are many versions of gazpacho. One year after a trip to the farmers market and more garden tomatoes than I knew what to do with, I tried the Tomato Gazpacho recipe from Vegetable Harvest. It was so delicate and fresh. It tasted like summertime. It was simply amazing. It is easy and it's flavor relies on fresh ingredients. This time of the year I can get almost every ingredient at the farmers market and what is not there, is already in my cupboard. Nice.
I am always amazed at how fresh and pure this soup tastes. The flavoring are limited to salt, pepper, sherry vinegar and red pepper flakes or hot sauce.
I have some of my own Brandywine tomatoes right off the vine. They are huge. Each one is a meal in itself!
Add this mixture to the pureed tomatoes and stir it together.
Tomato Gazpacho adapted from Patricia Well's recipe in Vegetable Harvest
1 1/2 pounds fresh tomatoes, quartered
1 cucumber, peeled (hothouse or regular local) and cut into chunks
1 red pepper, cored, seeded and cut into large pieces
1 onion, small, cut into pieces (summer sweet onions are perfect for this)
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
3 tablespoons of sherry wine vinegar, quality counts
1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt
Hot red pepper flakes or a hot sauce such as Tabasco
Toss the tomatoes into the food processor and pulse until it is a slightly chunky puree. Then toss the cucumber, red pepper, onion and garlic into the food processor. Puree all ingredients by pulsing until pureed but still slightly chunky. Add the puree to the bowl with the tomato puree and stir together. Stir in salt and sherry vinegar. Hot sauce can be added at this time to you taste or allow guests to season themselves. Allowing the gazpacho to meld overnight enhances the flavor of this soup.
Enjoy the bounty of summer!