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HomeDecGal Chow…. Summer Gazpacho

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HomeDecGal Chow…. Summer Gazpacho

Are you looking for an easy summer meal that is healthy, delicious and will keep your kitchen cool?

Make Gazpacho!  This cold tomato soup is a great way to use up a bowl full of summer tomatoes from the garden.  It is described in the book Food Lovers Companion (Sharon Tyler Herbst, published by Barrons Educational Series, Inc) as a “…refreshingly cold, summertime soup hailing from the Andalusia region of southern Spain” and is made with “…a pureed mixture of fresh tomatoes, sweet bell peppers, onions, celery, cucumber, bread crumbs, garlic, olive oil, vinegar and sometimes lemon juice”.

There are many recipes available with slight variations but, like with most soups, you can throw in whatever you have on hand and it will still be tasty.  How easy to just dish out cold soup without even having to put a pot on the stove!  Gazpacho also makes a great appetizer that can be made ahead.  In fact, it is better the next day.

Enjoy!

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Wash, core and chop fresh tomatoes. I had about 4 cups of chopped tomatoes for this batch.

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Put the tomatoes in a blender and pulse, creating a thick puree. You want to still have some tomato texture. Do this in batches of about 2 cups each.

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In the same blender, add about 1 cup pureed tomato with chopped celery, onion and garlic. Add garlic to taste but remember that it will not be cooked…fresh garlic is much stronger than cooked garlic.

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Stir the pureed vegetables and garlic into the tomatoes. Season with sea salt, fresh ground pepper, a splash of olive oil and balsamic vinegar (or lemon juice) and a little bit of honey or sugar.

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Add a mixture of your favorite, chopped vegetables. I used celery, onion, green pepper, cucumber and cabbage.

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Mix it all together and put it in the refrigerator in a glass or ceramic bowl, covered. Let it chill for an hour or more before serving.

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Here is the finished soup. I added feta cheese and basil. Other options are to add chopped hard boiled eggs or croutons. I think Gazpacho would be fabulous topped with cold, peeled shrimp or lump crab meat. If you like spice add one of the following: red pepper flakes, jalapeño slices or horseradish.

 

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