Ole! Garden Medley Margarita Gazpacho


The essence of summer, in a bowl - Gazpacho. I make an unconventional version, one of the many semi-vegetarian soup recipes I learned, at where else? The Reading Terminal Market Mostly Vegetarian Restaurant where I worked in 2002. I really ought to properly thank the woman who ran the business, for she has given me a lifetime of recipes and vegetarian cookery tips that have come in so useful over the years. Her ideas and recipes have become even more important to me this past year as I've slimmed down and lightened my cooking techniques from full fat to low-fat. I have taken several liberties with this riff on a traditional gazpacho, from varying the original Vorspeise recipe to create my own version this past weekend.

Garden Medley Margarita Inspired Gazpacho

Ingredients:
  • 1 Small/Medium Onion – quartered (use a Vidalla or Walla Walla Onion they're sweeter )
  • 1 Large Bell Pepper (preferably red) - seeded & quartered
  • 2 Medium cucumbers – peeled, seeded & coarsely chopped
  • 1 Rib Celery – coarsely chopped
  • 2 Medium Carrots – peeled & coarsely chopped
  • 1 Medium Zucchini – coarsely chopped
  • 1 Medium Yellow Squash – coarsely chopped
  • 3 Large Garlic Cloves – peeled & blanched (optional blanching, it tames the garlic bite)
  • 2 Large Fresh Ripe Jersey or Beefsteak Tomatoes or 6 Plum Tomatoes – seeded & quartered
  • 2 Cups cold Tomato Juice or Tomato Sauce - low salt
  • 2 Tablespoons Chopped Fresh Cilantro - reserve some for garnish
  • Salt & Freshly Ground Pepper - to taste
  • 2 Tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar or Red Wine Vinegar
  • Juice of 1 Lime
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • Hot Sauce – to taste (optional)
  • Tequila & Lime Wedges- for serving
Directions:
  1. Work in small batches and puree the vegetables, onion through tomatoes, in a food processor and pulse until all the vegetables are finely chopped but not pureed and watery.
  2. When all vegetables have been chopped, place in a large, non-reactive bowl. Set aside.
    Working in batches, take ½ up to ¾ of this chopped vegetable mixture and return to food processor and puree with the tomato juice/sauce. Puree until smooth. (The reserved chopped vegetable will be added to your soup for texture and flavor.)
  3. Pour the puree into the bowl with your reserved chopped vegetables.
  4. Stir into soup mixture the chopped cilantro, salt and pepper, lime juice and vinegar. Taste and adjust seasonings.
  5. Stir in olive oil and add a dash of hot sauce, to taste.
  6. Chill for at least ½ hour before serving and serve cold in well-chilled bowls.
  7. Garnish with additional cilantro.
  8. At serving, spoon a teaspoon of tequila into each serving of soup and spritz with a wedge of lime.
  9. This soup will hold for up to 3 days.

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