I recently made this soup for a very special guest, my pastor during his visit with my husband and me. I wanted him to experience the full range of textures and flavors this wonderful cold soup provides from summer’s bounty.
I made one change in the ingredients. The recipe calls for red or sweet onions, but this time, I used a white onion instead to give it an added punch. The soup already had two sweet fruits in it-a red bell pepper and tomatoes. To give the soup some contrast, I thought a stronger, more pungent onion would provide the added kick! I was right. My pastor liked the soup so much, he e-mailed me for the recipe!
To enhance your enjoyment of the delicious gazpacho, may I suggest you pair this soup with the viewing of my painting, White Onion.
From the land of sun drenched summers, where sunlight bathes every object and colors vibrate comes Gazpacho Soup.
It was during one of my walks through the streets of Barcelona, Spain that I came upon this chilled soup at a local Spanish restaurant made with farm fresh vegetables. After my first spoonful, I knew I had to replicate this soup when I got home.
Today, each spoonful of this chilled, refreshing soup brings to mind the memory of the Iberian sun, the same unique summer sun that makes Sorolla paintings shimmer.
Gazpacho Soup is simple and economical to make. It is the perfect soup for summer when its ingredients are bountiful, and you’re yearning for something cool and refreshing. For an added boost in nutrition use organically grown vegetables from your local farmers’ market or from your own garden.
The vegetables for Gazpacho Soup only need to be roughly cut or sliced for the blended part of the soup. The blender or food processor does all the work! Well, except the red onions and garlic cloves. You’ll need to dice and chop a little more so that no one gets a chunk of onion or garlic in their soup.
If you’d like to add some texture to your gazpacho, reserve some of the red bell pepper, cucumber, celery, basil leaves, and cilantro. Set them aside for later. These need to be chopped a bit smaller.
I like to blend the vegetables that contain the most liquid first. The liquid makes it easier for the rest of the ingredients to liquify.
Blend four vine ripened tomatoes until liquidy. Add one half of a seeded cucumber and blend. Add celery, leaves included; half of a large sweet red pepper or one medium; two tablespoons of red onions; three cloves of garlic with shoots removed, diced. Blend.
Cut or torn basil leaves; and three tablespoons of cilantro. Blend.
Add the juice of one lime to the blended mixture. Blend.
In serving bowls combine diced red bell peppers, cucumber, and celery (reserved earlier).
Pour the blended mixture over the diced vegetables. Garnish with more diced vegetables, cilantro and basil.
Drizzle with extra virgin oil and hot sauce.
Reserve some cucumber, celery, sweet red pepper, cilantro, and basil for added texture and garnishing.
4 organic tomatoes
1 medium, organic cucumber
2 stalks celery with leaves
1 medium organic red sweet pepper
2 tablespoons of organic red onion or sweet onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, diced
Cut or torn cilantro and basil
extra virgin olive oil
hot sauce (cayenne )
extra virgin olive oil
1. Reserve some cucumber, celery, sweet red pepper chunks with cilantro and basil. These need to be chopped finer.
The blended portion of the soup only needs to be roughly cut.
2. Place roughly cut tomatoes in blender or food processor. Blend.
3. Add cucumber. Blend.
4. Add celery stalks and leaves. Blend.
5. Add sweet red pepper. Blend.
6. Add onion, garlic, cilantro, and basil. Blend.
7. Drizzle with hot sauce (to taste) and extra virgin olive oil.
8. Add more vegetable chunks if desired.
Modifications and suggestions: Serve with a side of crusty bread and cheese; place slices of crusty toasted bread or shrimp in the center of the soup; for protein types, add shrimp or sausage to center of soup.
Chill soup before serving. To get it extra cold, add ice cubes.
This is an easy and fun soup to make. Add more or less of each vegetable. Keep tasting to adjust the proportions to your taste.
Copyright 2009 by Nurturing Wisdom