I look forward to Gazpacho season every year. I love it. I know that cold soup isn’t for everyone. Trust me, I get it. I don’t think of the Spanish dish as a cold soup as I much as I think of it as a veggie smoothie. Spicy, bright, and bursting with summertime flavor it is my favorite way to blitz up all my garden tomatoes, bell peppers, and cucumbers to really savour their flavors. There are so many variations on gazpacho. Some are more refined where the tomato skins are removed. Some have bread as a thickener or tomato juice as a thinner. Mine is straight -up vegetables and ready in 15 minutes. Simple! It’s essential to taste your gazpacho as you go so you get just the right level of brightness, robustness and sweet that pleases your palate. As I always say, its easier to add more of an ingredient than to try to take it out! The best part is that gazpacho tastes even better on day two or three as all the ingredients mingle. Paired with a crusty garlic bread, crostini or citrusy ceviche, it is a summertime revelation!
- 1 1/2 pounds or 4 vine-ripened tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
- 2 cups cucumber, peeled, seeded and chopped
- 1 red pepper, chopped
- ¼ cup red onion, chopped
- 1 small jalapeno, seeded and minced
- 1 medium garlic clove, minced
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 lime, juiced
- 3 Tbl white wine vinegar
- 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Cutting board
- Chef’s knife
- Small strainer
- Wooden spoon
- 1 cup liquid measuring cup
- Citrus juicer
- Medium bowl with lid
- Wand mixer or high speed blender
- Place a small strainer over the opening of the measuring cup. You will use this to strain the tomato juice from the seeds
- Cut tomatoes across the middle (equator) of the tomato and, using your finger, remove the seed and juice, places them into the strainer over the measuring cup. This will separate the juice from the seeds.
- Once done, rough cut all the tomatoes, removing any blemishes or nodes. Place in the medium bowl.
- Take your wooden spoon and gently stir the seeds and juice in the strainer until as much tomato juice as possible has dripped into the measuring cup. Remove the strainer and discard the tomato seeds
- Wash, peel, and rough cut the cucumber, red pepper (discard seeds and pith), garlic, and red onion. Add to the tomatoes in the bowl.
- Rough cut the jalapeno making sure to remove the seeds with your knife(not your fingers unless you like a lingering burning sensation!) if you do not want the gazpacho to be too spicy. Add to the other vegetables in the bowl.
- To juice your lime, press the lime into the countertop and roll under the palm of your hand to break up the lime pulp before slicing over. This helps to release the juice for juicing. Slide the lime across the middle (equator) and, using the citrus juicer or a fork, juice the lime into measuring cup and tomato juice. At this point, you should have about a ½ cup of liquid.
- Taking your wand mixture or transferring the veg to a blender, blend the veg until smooth. If you are using a blender then you may need to add the tomato and lime juice to the veg to help the blending process. If you are using the wand mixer then add the juice at the end of the blending process
- Taste the veg to gauge if the ratios of tomato/cucumber/garlic/jalapeno/onion are to your liking. Also gauge how salty/sweet or robust the flavors of the veg are currently. This will guide how you season in the next steps.
Depending on how sweet the veg mixture tastes, add vinegar 1 Tablespoon at a time until the mixture tastes bright and refreshing.
- Taste it!
- Depending on how thin the flavors of the veg mixture tastes, add the Worcestershire, 1 tsp at a time, to add depth.
- Taste it!
- Depending on how strong the flavors of the veg mixture tastes at this point, add salt to strengthen the flavors of the mixture (but not so much that it is salty)
- Taste and adjust steps 10, 12 & 14 according to your preferences.
- Add the chipotle/smoked paprika powder to the mixture and mix in thoroughly.
- Pour ½ cup of olive oil into the liquid measuring cup. While blending the mixture, slowly pour the oil into the gazpacho ensuring that the oil is being incorporated and thickening the gazpacho. The gazpacho will turn slightly lighter in color and thicken. That means its working!
- Put the lid on bowl and set in the refrigerator for an hour to overnight to let flavors meld together
- On final taste before serving where you can adjust the seasoning if needed.