Top | Kvell in the Kitchen
(post, Rachel Levine)
I always order gazpacho soup when it's on a summer restaurant menu. There is something consistently refreshing about its chilled, tomatoey consistency, drizzle of a quality olive oil, and chopped summer veggies for some texture variety. Although I usually like to start my dining out with a salad, this all-vegetable Easy Summer Gazpacho soup easily takes the place of that plant-rooted (no pun intended) craving. This recipe has been a staple in my family for years and consistently receives compliments by all guests when served at big party or family function. I especially enjoyed making it this time around with a colorful assortment of heirloom tomatoes. I recommend serving with a sliced french baguette topped with fresh ricotta or goat cheese. If you own a quality olive oil and balsamic vinegar, I suggest using those here too. Craving some spice? Add a dash of hot sauce before ladling out portions. One last thing: if you are not a cold soup lover but enjoy tomato sauce, definitely give this recipe a try. I'm not one for cold vegetable soups generally either, but this is just a really refreshing twist on tomato sauce (or tomato soup) for a hot summer day. Plus, the chunky vegetables give real substance to the soup. Enjoy! Easy Summer Gazpacho (from Health Magazine Jul/Aug 2005 issue) Yield: 8 Servings Ingredients: 4 cups tomato juice (such as Campbell's Organic Tomato juice) 2 cups chopped seeded tomato 1 3/4 cups chopped seeded unpeeled cucumber 1 cup finely chopped yellow bell pepper 1 cup finely chopped red bell pepper 1/2 cup finely chopped red onion 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar 2 tablespoons olive oil 2 garlic cloves, minced 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil Directions: 1. Combine all ingredients except basil in a large bowl; cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes (or up to 24 hours) before serving. 2. Ladle the gazpacho into soup bowls, top with basil. Optional: Serve with toasted sliced baguette topped with goat or ricotta cheese.