Cool Off Your Summer BBQ with Gazpacho

cold soup, soup recipesSoups and chili’s are usually reserved for fall and winter time meals, warming the body and the soul with their delicious flavor. But, when the mood for soup strikes you during the hot summer months, eating a warm bowl of soup doesn’t seem like the best idea. A great way to indulge your soup craving without overheating is to make a delicious gazpacho or cold soup. Here is a great recipe for gazpacho that is not only amazingly tasty but also simple enough to enjoy on any busy summer night.

Ingredients for Gazpacho:
- 1 ½ lbs. tomatoes (seeded, peeled and chopped)
- 1 cup cucumber (seeded, peeled and chopped)
- ½ cup red onion (chopped)
- ½ cup red bell pepper (chopped)
- 1 medium garlic clove (minced)
- 1 small jalapeno (seeded and minced)
- Juice of 1 lime
- Tomato juice
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 2 tbsp. basil leaves
- 2 tsp. balsamic vinegar
- 2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
- ½ tsp. cumin
- 1 tsp. salt
- ¼ tsp. black pepper

Directions for Gazpacho:
1. Bring a 6 quart pot, half full with water to a boil over high heat.
2. Using a paring knife, cut an X into the bottom of each tomato. Drop tomatoes into the boiling water allowing to cook for 15 seconds. Immediately remove tomatoes from the water and transfer to an ice bath, allowing to cool for up to 1 minute or until cool to the touch. Remove tomatoes from ice bath and pat dry.
3. Peel and seed the tomatoes, adding the pulp to a fine mesh strainer. Strain all the juice into a measuring cup and strain until you have 1 cup of juice. Substitute with canned tomato juice as needed.
4. Place tomatoes and tomato juice into a large bowl. Add cucumber, red bell pepper, onion, garlic, jalapeno, lime juice, olive oil, vinegar, Worcestershire, salt and pepper. Stir until well combined.
5. Transfer 1 ½ cups of the tomato mixture to a blender. Puree the mixture on high speed for 15 to 20 seconds. Return the pureed tomato mixture to the bowl with the remaining tomato mixture and stir until well combined.
6. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Place in the refrigerator to chill for between 2 hours and overnight.
7. Serve gazpacho in soup bowls, garnish with basil and enjoy!

*Photo Courtesy of Karen via Creative Commons License

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