Ok y’all, its hot; and for the foreseeable future, not getting any cooler, so I bring you a recipe that does not require turning on an oven, a grill, or the stove top. You just need a blender or a really good knife and some of the glorious veggies that we have on the market right now. Clyde’s Fresh Produce still have those tasty purple onions, they along with East Georgia Produce, Lazy Willow Farm, and Wild Pear Farm have some gorgeous cucumbers and tomatoes, so what are you waiting for?
- About 2 pounds ripe red tomatoes, cored and roughly cut into chunks
- 1 Italian frying (cubanelle) pepper or another long, light green pepper, such as Anaheim, cored, seeded and roughly cut into chunks
- 1 cucumber, about 8 inches long, peeled and roughly cut into chunks
- 1 small mild onion (white or red), peeled and roughly cut into chunks
- 1 clove garlic
- 2 teaspoons sherry vinegar, more to taste
- ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil, more to taste, plus more for drizzling
- Combine tomatoes, pepper, cucumber, onion and garlic in a blender or, if using a hand blender, in a deep bowl. (If necessary, work in batches.) Blend at high speed until very smooth, at least 2 minutes, pausing occasionally to scrape down the sides with a rubber spatula.
- With the motor running, add the vinegar and 2 teaspoons salt. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil. The mixture will turn bright orange or dark pink and become smooth and emulsified, like a salad dressing. If it still seems watery, drizzle in more olive oil until texture is creamy.
- Strain the mixture through a strainer or a food mill, pushing all the liquid through with a spatula or the back of a ladle. Discard the solids. Transfer to a large pitcher (preferably glass) and chill until very cold, at least 6 hours or overnight.
- Before serving, adjust the seasonings with salt and vinegar. If soup is very thick, stir in a few tablespoons ice water. Serve in glasses, over ice if desired. A few drops of olive oil on top are a nice touch.
More of a drink than a soup, served in frosted glasses or chilled tumblers, gazpacho is perfect when it is too hot to eat but you need cold, salt and lunch all at the same time. Gazpacho is everywhere in Seville, Spain, where this recipe comes from, but it’s not the watered-down salsa or grainy vegetable purée often served in the United States. This version has no bread and is a creamy orange-pink rather than a lipstick red. That is because a large quantity of olive oil is required for making delicious gazpacho, rather than take-it-or-leave it gazpacho. The emulsion of red tomato juice, palest green cucumber juice and golden olive oil produces the right color and a smooth, almost fluffy texture.