*ahem.* Sorry, it’s a little difficult for me to say or think of gazpacho soup without yelling it. It’s a reference to one of my favorite old British sci-fi comedies, Red Dwarf (see below).
Anyway, I was randomly inspired to make some gazpacho the other night, and after reviewing several recipes online I decided that they were all bunk and that I would just wing it. As usual, I’m awful at remembering to measure things as I cook, so everything is approximate.
– 6 vine-ripe tomatoes, peeled and quartered
– 2 medium cucumbers, peeled, seeds scraped out, and rough sliced
– 1 green bell pepper, seeded and rough chopped
– somewhere between 1 and 2 teaspoons minced garlic
– 1 shallot, peeled and rough chopped
– somewhere around 1 pint of tomato or vegetable juice (low sodium is best)
– apple cider vinegar, 2ish tablespoons?
– lemon juice, 1ish tablespoon
– extra virgin olive oil, 2ish tablespoons
– dried oregano, cilantro and parsley, a few shakes of each
– 1 tablespoon paprika
– dash of curry powder or cumin
– kosher salt, to taste
** how to peel tomatoes: Get a pot of water boiling on the stove. While your water is heating, cut the core out of each tomato, turn them around, and cut a shallow “X” in the other end. Drop the tomato into the boiling water for around 1 minute, or until you see the peel splitting. Immediate get the tomatoes either under running cold water or into an ice bath (better option) to stop the cooking. Once cool enough to handle, simply life the peel right off. (You can help it along with a paring knife, if needed.)
Blend everything together. That’s it. I find this is a perfect application for my stick blender because I can just whack everything into the bowl and go to town. If you haven’t got a stick blender, use a regular blender or a food processor. You may have to work in batches; I don’t think it will all fit in one go. Stop when you have your desired consistency. Some people like their soups chunkier, some people like theirs totally pulverized. I like it pretty much totally liquefied. Taste it. Adjust your flavors as needed, and give it another blend just for good measure.
Chill for at least 2 hours to let the flavors blend.
Serve with a little extra drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, or a dollop of sour cream. Goes well with cheesy toast points. For extra pizzazz, reserve a little bit of your cucumber, dice it up all small and pretty, and float that in the middle of the soup.
Oh, and in case you don’t get the reference in the title of this post, here’s a perfectly-timed clip: