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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! 

California Gazpacho

  • 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

Garnish:

  • 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 chunkykind 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).

26 Comments Post a comment
  1. Oooohhh.. pretty, pretty soup.. a luscious bowl of market heaven! I could never tire of your gazpacho’s. I used to think that was such a mysterious word as a child.. now I think of “gazpacho” and I’m taken to your lovely crab recipe! I can’t wait to try this one too, spree! It will be certain to receive accolades for its flavor as well. I was wondering about that nice slice of bread.. I can’t wait to see your skillet corn bread tomorrow.. and your farm:D xx Smidge

    September 5, 2012
    • Gaz-pach-o…..wow, yes, doesn’t it sound intriquing and mysterious to a child’s ear? 🙂 I do think you’ll really like this one too Smidge if you try it. And either corn bread or crunchy baguette SCHMEARED with sweet butter would be good alongside! 🙂 xx!

      September 6, 2012
  2. Beautiful tomato photo, Antoinette. The corn in the gazpacho must lend a welcome sweetness.

    September 5, 2012
    • Thanks Sharyn. I appreciate your kind comment. And yes, the corn was just right in this soup – I even reserved some kernels to throw in afterwards so as to keep them whole.

      September 6, 2012
  3. I had no idea about that tomato trick…how cool. And your styling, this photography — stunning. Those tomatoes are gorgeous! Are you growing heirlooms? Like Smidge said, you’ve opened up the world of gazpacho further and further for me this summer. Creative! And as Kale Chronicles said, that corn, what a welcome addition!

    September 5, 2012
    • So much I didn’t teach you dear heart, so much you had to learn on your own! i guess that’s the way it happens for lots of us though, eh? Anyway, yes, the girls would love to helps slip the skins off…it’s like tomato magic! (And if you like gazpacho, you’d like this one lots!) xxoo

      September 6, 2012
  4. I want to wallpaper my kitchen in your photos. 🙂

    September 5, 2012
    • You are SO sweet Emmy! Thank you very much!! 🙂

      September 6, 2012
  5. Very, very good gazpacho. We, too, are in the last of the summer wine mode. It’s funny that good tomatoes are called heirloom, and the crap that we’re offered most of the time are just called tomatoes instead of flavourless tomato substitute:)

    September 5, 2012
    • I don’t know whose idea it was to pawn these watery flavorless pale red balls with stems off on us as “tomatoes”. (The bigger question I guess, why did we think of forking over good money for them?) The good news, once you know what tomatoes Taste like, you can’t go “back”.

      September 6, 2012
  6. Val #

    A perfect recipe to celebrate the belated arrival of Summer here in sunny Ireland! Looking forward to the skillet corn bread.

    September 6, 2012
    • You must have your share of gorgeous bursty tomatoes Val! And so glad to hear you’ve got Sun, at Last!!

      September 6, 2012
  7. I need to try making some of this gazpacho stuff… sounds lovely – don’t know why I haven’t. This certainly sounds wonderfully delicious and refreshing. Though, it’s starting to cool here a little… not that it got that hot in the first place.

    September 6, 2012
    • Well a soul could sit around a hot fire and STILL enjoy this cold soup Nick, so carpe diem! 🙂

      September 6, 2012
  8. Spree, your gazpachos are fantastic! You can share as many recipes as you like and I certainly won’t complain. Today’s soup has a great list of ingredients and I love that you leave them a bit on the chunky side. Texture is a good thing in gazpacho. Adding garnishes of avocado for the creaminess and pine nuts for the crunch sound perfect. I need to make this before Summer leaves us. Thanks for sharing.

    September 6, 2012
    • Thank YOU John. (And my sentiments exactly on texture in gazpacho.)

      September 6, 2012
  9. Love gazpacho and this looks delicious! I don’t think I could get enough gazpacho… the beautiful weather will soon be gone and I’ll still crave the gazpacho. 🙂

    September 6, 2012
    • You and me together Karista! 🙂

      September 6, 2012
  10. carolyn #

    Gazpacho doesn’t get any better! Definitely make it with the heirlooms…they have the fulness and grace to enfold all the other snappy flavors. And the chunky texture leaves the mouth with no doubt that this is a robust meal, in case anyone thought it was an appetizer. Her cornbread is an ironic combination of moist, dense, fluffy, light, buttery, and homey. It need not have a speck of butter, but I slather it on anyway! Thank you, Spree!

    September 6, 2012
    • Thank you for coming to my pajama party Caralina! Glad you liked! 🙂 Was so fun!

      September 6, 2012
  11. jack #

    Greatest , most refreshing gazpacho I’ve every had! With your cornbread, it was to die for.

    September 6, 2012
    • So she shared it with you did she Jack? I wondered when she left if she might not eat it on the way home. Nice girl you got there! 🙂

      September 6, 2012
  12. Stunning photography!

    September 6, 2012
    • THank you! How nice of you Anastasia!

      September 6, 2012
  13. This gazpacho looks so delicious! I loved that you topped it with avocado! Pine nuts is such a great idea since it adds crunchiness to the soup! Beautiful pics!

    September 6, 2012
  14. I would love it if you would actually share more gazpacho recipes. Your recipes are ones I would try with my eyes closed and gazpacho is something I have only recently started to experiment with.
    P.S. Stunning pictures as always Ani 🙂

    September 9, 2012

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