|Gazpacho in Cucumber Cups|
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|
- 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
|Ying and Yang, Thick and Liquidy|
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Puree the cucumbers. These will turn to liquid, don't be alarmed, this is a good thing. Add the cucumber "water" to the bowl.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!
- 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.
|A blender is fine but a food processor works better!|