Saturday, July 2, 2011

Summer foods: Gaspacho

Gaspacho is one of my all time favorite "Tastes of Summer." The cooling combination of cucumber and the spice of onions balanced with tomatoes is freaking awesome. My mother made it when I was a kid, and I would often have a glass of it for breakfast. There are hundreds of recipies out there, some with fish, some with cream, almost all a lot more complicated then my mother's. I learned a long time ago not to bother ordering gaspacho in restaraunts because I would be dissapointed.

Here is my recipie:

Bottle of your favorite tomato-based vegetable juice
2 cups diced fresh tomatoes (skin removed)
2 cups diced cucumbers (peeled and seeded)
1/2 cup diced red onion 
several minced cloves of garlic
1/2 cup cilantro
1/4 cup olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
hot sauce to taste (optional)

To remove skins from tomatoes, drop whole tomatoes in vigorously boiling water and shut off heat. Remove tomatoes after 60 seconds and plunge into ice water.  After a few minutes the skins will be loose and easy to remove.

You can pulse the veggies in a food processor- I don't have one so I hand chop everything.
Place tomatoes, cucumber, red onion and garlic in a large bowl (I use one with a lid) and pour just enough vegetable juice to cover. Stir it all up and add the cilantro, olive oil, salt, pepper and hot sauce. Add more juice if you want your soup a little soupier. Chill for at least an hour before serving.