yet another summer salad turns to soup !
but then again, it’s not the first time that’s happened on a Wegetable Vednesday…
I won’t be pushing any more gazpachos your way, I promise, if you’ll indulge me this one last time. We’re feeling lucky that summer is still lingering here in Oregon (and likely where you are too.) We’re not in any way ready to give up summer eating until the choice is wrestled from us. Gardens and markets are brimming with heirloom tomatoes, fat cucumbers, fresh sweet corn, and peppers in all colors and shapes. Herbs, in one last hurrah, are pouring over borders or tilting heavily on their stems. And those California avocados are…welll…sort of perfect. So, really, did we have a choice?
Brisk on the day it’s made…a little mellower on the day after…
a soup that requires no cooking, whatsoever!
- 2 pounds ripe tomatoes, peeled, seeded and coarsely chopped* (see NOTE)
- 2 cucumbers, peeled, seeded and coarsely chopped
- 1 red onion, coarsely chopped
- 1 large red bell pepper, seeded and coarsely chopped
- ½ cup fresh corn kernels (you can substitute frozen if you like)
- 3 Tablespoons minced garlic
- 2 teaspoons fine-grained sea salt, plus more to taste
- ¾teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
- 3 cups (or more) low sodium tomato vegetable juice (such as low-socium V-8 or R.W. Knudsen Very Veggie juice)
- 3 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 3 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
- ¼ cup finely chopped fresh basil
- ¼ cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
- ¼ cp finely chopped fresh parseley
- 1 large ripe avocado, peeled, pitted and diced or sliced
- ¼ cup toasted pine nuts
* NOTE – (about 6 – if you can find heirloom tomatoes – or if you GROW them – by all means use them – it will make an enormous difference in taste! Enormous, I tell you!) (Did you know that tomatoes peel with no argument if you mark the bottom with a little X using a sharp knife, then submerge them for 30 seconds in boiling water?)
In a large bowl, combine the tomatoes, cucumbers, onion, bell pepper, corn, garlic, 2 teaspoons of salt and the black pepper. Stir in 3 cups of the tomato-vegetable juice, the oil, lemon juice and vinegar. Working in batches pulse the mixture in a blender or food processor until the mixture is soup but the vegetables are still somewhat chunky…kind of nice in a soup like this to see what you’re eating.
Pour the gazpacho into a glass, stainless steel or ceramic bowl or container. Now stir in the basil, cilantro and parsley.
Add more tomato-vegetable juice, but only if needed to thin. Then season to taste with salt and pepper.
Best to wait for 2 hours before serving so that the flavors can all meld and the soup can become extra chilled.
Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with avocado and toasty pine nuts, and a scattering of a few extra herbs if it makes you happy.
This is delicious served with skillet corn bread and I can share that recipe with you tomorrow…along with a trip to a special farm (with lots of photos).