When you find yourself without a working stove or refrigerator in your home, you get creative with cooking — or as in this case, chopping by hand and whirring in the food processor. That’s all it takes to make this delicious chilled soup from the Andalusian region of Spain. The vegetables, all bought at the Larchmont Farmer’s Market, can be stored on the counter until ready to use.
I decided to make it extra chunky, as that’s how I roll. Soup, cookies, ice cream – I like it all extra chunky. While it might not be as authentic, it does add a yummy taste and textural dimension to the smooth soup. The chunky vegetables and other toppings get added after the soup is made.
I served the gazpacho with a side of pita bread and dips, two kinds of hummus and baba ganoush from Mom’s, to make it a meal unto itself. Perfect on a hot summer night. I also used Mom’s Tomato Garlic Dip in place of fresh garlic in the soup.
So easy! So delicious!
Luckily, I do have an extra refrigerator in my garage and was able to chill the soup before serving and store the leftovers and perishables for food safety.
Please note that many recipes call for peeling the tomatoes beforehand or straining after blending. That is an option but an extra step in preparation. Personally, I like the added nutrition and fiber of the skins, so opted to prepare and serve with the skins on.
Please also note that I have a large 14 cup food processor. I processed the veggies in 2 batches but was then able to accommodate all of the soup in the bowl to finish. For smaller food processors, make the entire recipe in two batches or cut recipe down.
Gazpacho –Extra Chunky!
For the soup:
1 cup chopped white onion
4 T sherry vinegar
2.5 lbs. tomatoes, a mix of heirloom and hot house, chopped
1 cup peeled and chopped Persian cucumbers
1 cup chopped sweet red pepper
2 T tomato garlic dip or 2 cloves chopped garlic
1 cup veggie juice or tomato juice
2 tsp salt or to taste
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
Marinate the onions in the vinegar for 20 minutes while prepping the other vegetables. This extra step takes the harsh bite out of the onion so it doesn’t overwhelm the sweetness of the tomatoes.
In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the processing blade, process ½ the tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers until smooth (20-25 seconds). Pour into another container. Process the other half of veggies with the marinated onion and tomato dip (again for 20 – 25 seconds). Pour reserved processed vegetables back in. Process about 5 or 6 seconds until all is combined. Add the veggie juice and salt and process another 10 seconds. Taste for seasoning. Add more salt if desired. With the motor running, stream in the olive oil until combined and soup is blended and creamy. Pour into a large container and chill for at least 2 hours or overnight.
Chunks and Toppings
1 cup chopped Persian cucumbers, skin on
1 cup chopped sweet red and yellow bell pepper
½ pint baby tomatoes, heirloom if available, cut in half
1 large avocado cut in chunks
2-3 T fresh chopped cilantro
Put several spoons of cucumbers, peppers and tomatoes in each soup bowl. Ladle in soup to cover. Stir.
Top with chunks of avocado and cilantro. Serve lime wedges on the side. It’s delicious with a good squeeze of lime.
Plate your pita breads and dips. I added some chopped veggies/cilantro to the dips.