This classic, cold Spanish summer soup is so refreshing! Serve as an appetizer, or in place of a salad. Offer it along with a Spanish tortilla (potato omelet) or other light fare. Or take it on a picnic at the beach or on a boat – just be sure to keep it chilled. Double this recipe if you want to keep some in your fridge for a healthy lunch or snack.
½ # Fresh Tomatoes, cored and quartered
½ # Fresh Cucumbers, peeled and seeded
2 Carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
1 Large Green Bell Pepper, cored and roughly chopped
1 Small Red Onion, peeled and quartered (optional)
1 clove Fresh Garlic
2 C Tomato Juice or V8
2 T Sherry Vinegar (red wine vinegar is ok, but sherry is more traditional)
1 teasp Pepper
½ teasp Cumin Powder (optional – it adds a nice earthy flavor)
Tabasco (or other hot sauce) to taste – optional
Pulse the vegetables in a food processor to your desired consistency – I like mine pretty well minced, but with a little crunch. You will have to do this in batches, as there are too many veggies to do at one time – and you need a little space in the food processor to evenly puree them. If you don’t have a food processor, a blender will work, but in order to get a smooth consistency, you will need something with a strong motor.
Once pureed, place veggies in a large mixing bowl. Stir well, and add the other ingredients.
Taste, and add more juice, vinegar or seasonings until you’re happy with the flavor. Place in a tightly covered container and chill in the fridge for at least an hour.
Serve cold, garnished with fresh parsley, basil or cilantro – or some large toasted croutons.
Basically, almost any ripe summer veggies can be used in this recipe. The above is closer to a traditional Gazpacho, but try adding radishes for a little extra zing, or string beans, or sugar snap peas!