Gazpacho made Easy - Take II


Gazpacho in Cucumber Cups
Updated Saturday, August 11, 2012:  I made this again, for a cooking demonstration at the Collingswood Farmers' Market.  I realized that it had a few mistakes and that it could use some improvements and better photos!

Timing is everything. Just about a year ago, I posted a Garden Medley Gazpacho soup; a quick, no-cook recipe that is chockablock full of garden goodness. It's the perfect summer meal, cool and easy to make utilizing the bounty of the summer harvest. With a small heat wave upon us over this past weekend it was the perfect time again to pull out the blender and whiz up a batch of summer soup. Since I needed to get in my daily veggie intake and I did not want to cook, this gazpacho fit the bill. We have a plethora of tomatoes from our weekly CSA Share in addition to a refrigerator full of peppers, cucs and jalapenos. TwoSixQuick I had blended up a beat-the-heat summer soup for Liz and I that satisfied our tummies and cooled us down a few degrees.

You only need a handful of ingredients and a blender or food processor. The soup can be made in a blender but it is easier over-all to pulse the ingredients in a food processor. You have to stop and start and stir the veggies more often in a blender since the shape is not as conducive to whizzing the firmer/dryer ingredients around easily. I choose to use garlic and I blanched it to tame its bite. Having vampire defending garlic breath is not always how I want to breathe. If you don't mind the bite of raw garlic - throw it into the blender or food processor. The jalapeno is optional. I wanted a bit of heat but not too much so I removed the seeds and ribs of the jalapeno, carefully. There's a bit more fire there than you might imagine.

Each vegetable was pulsed/pureed individually before adding to the finished soup
One other note - it's important to pulse puree each ingredient separate and in small batches. Once each one is done and you should leave each one a bit on the chunky side, pour each into a large mixing bowl, layers at a time. You can blend them together after everything is done. I used a blender for this version, though it would have been just as much time to pull out the food processor and used that instead. Oh well, live, learn and clean up the same mess!  Vary the added ingredients, zucchini and squash aren't necessary, but carrots, cucs, and peppers are! Enjoy and make soup!


Gazpacho Ingredients:
  • 2 Celery Stalks - cut into large chunks
  • 2 Medium Carrots - peeled and cut into large chunks
  • 1/2 Large Cucumber or 1 Medium Cucumber- peeled and seeded & cut into large dice
  • 1/2 Red or Green Bell Pepper - seeds and ribs removed & cut into large chunks
  • 1/2 Jalapeno - seeds and ribs removed & cut into 2 pieces
  • 4 - 6 Medium/Large Tomatoes - seeds removed and cut into large chunks - or 2 Pints of Mixed Cherry Tomatoes
  • 1/2 Each Yellow Squash and Zucchini - cut into large chunks (OPTIONAL! not necessary but if you have them on hand, it does add a nice bit of body)
  • 2 Garlic Cloves - blanched in boiling water for 2 minutes
  • Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper - to taste
  • Juice of 1 Lemon or 2 Tablespoons of Red, White or Sherry Vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons Good Quality Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Directions:
Ying and Yang, Thick and Liquidy
  1. Wash and prepare each vegetable as indicated. Have a large mixing bowl ready, a wooden spoon for stirring and a spatula for scraping out the blender or food processor.
  2. A blender is fine but a food processor works better!
  3. Add the celery to the blender and blend/pulse just until the celery is moderately pureed but still slightly chunky. Tamp down the celery with the end of a wooden spoon if all of it has not been pureed. Scrap out the celery and add it to the mixing bowl.
  4. Puree the carrots until they are finely minced in the blender - but don't turn them into carrot juice! Keep the carrots on the finely diced side. Scrap them out and add to the celery in the bowl.
  5. Puree the cucumbers. These will turn to liquid, don't be alarmed, this is a good thing.  Add the cucumber "water" to the bowl.
  6. Next, add in the bell pepper and jalapeno and blend until moderately pureed - about six pulses. Tamp down the peppers if needed and pulse again. The peppers will liquefy too.  Pour the mixture out and add to the celery/carrot and cucumbers.
  7. Add in the tomatoes and blanched garlic (blanch the garlic in a small sauce pot of water, bring to a boil and boil for 2 minutes). Puree the tomatoes until they are completely smooth and liquefied. Add the now tomato juice to the vegetable mixture.
  8. If using, pulse the squash/zucchini, just until they are finely diced.  Don't over process, keep them on the textured side and not liquefied.
  9. Stir well to incorporate all the vegetables and season to taste with salt, freshly ground black pepper, lemon juice or vinegar and the 2 tablespoons of olive oil. 
  10. If the mixture is too thick and chunky, puree/pulse 1/2 of it back in the blender or food processor to liquefy, then pour this mixture back into the bowl with the rest of the ingredients.  I like my gazpacho on the thicker side but I want to have some fluidity to it!
  11.  Chill for at least 30 minutes and serve cold. Makes 4 servings and will hold, refrigerated for up to 3 days.  Drizzle with a bit of good olive oil and garnish with chopped cilantro, basil or parsley if you want.

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