Farmers Market Gazpacho

by Sep 1, 2009

gazpacho NK-0017098

Farmers Market Gazpacho
serves 4 – 6
The lesson I learned while creating this recipe: taste your individual ingredients. If they are not pleasant and flavorful, they are not going to get any better when you puree them into a raw soup. True, it has not yet been an incredible tomato year, but it wasn’t the beautiful Marvel Stripes that threw off my early attempts at making a luscious gazpacho; it was a nasty, acrid red wine vinegar. Taste your vinegar. It should be pleasantly flavorful, not like a bottle of wine gone bad.
This recipe is supposed to make it fun to make an easy summer soup from your farmers market bounty. Don’t stress over the exact amounts or types of tomatoes — if you have a few little sungold cherry tomatoes laying around, toss them in. Stray bits leftover after taking the beautiful middle slices out of a plump juicy one for a BLT? Toss them in too. Easy does it with the processing, and you will have a delicious soup that will keep a few days in the refrigerator.

The Veggies:
5 medium sized, ripe garden tomatoes, approx. 2 pounds (heirlooms like Marvel Stripe and Brandywine are worth seeking out for their flavor as well as beautiful color)
2 ribs fresh celery, peeled and diced (taste it. if it isn’t pleasantly flavorful, leave it out. this is not the time to use up the limp stalks that have been languishing in your “crisper”)
1 hothouse cucumber, cut in a few large pieces
1/4 red onion, finely diced
The Vinaigrette:
3 tablespoons sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar (taste it. make sure you like its flavor.)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (again, taste it. make sure you like its flavor.)
1 tablespoon lemon juice, freshly squeezed and strained of pulp
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt or sea salt
1. Set your food processor or blender next to your cutting board and wash and dry all your veggies. You will rough chop most of the veggies and put them in the processor, however you do want to have some attractive, tiny diced tomato, cucumber and red onion to stir into the soup as a garnish. Start by making tiny dice of the equivalent of 1 tomato, and a tablespoon each of the cucumber and red onion and as you’re doing this, toss the odd sized bits into the food processor. Set aside the tiny diced veggies.
Tiny Diced Veggies
2. Roughly chop the remaining tomatoes and other veggies, add them to the processor and pulse until combined. (If you are using a blender, particularly the VitaMix, take care not to overprocess the ingredients. You want a somewhat textured soup, not a smoothie.)
3. Pour the blended veggies into a large ceramic or pyrex bowl and drizzle in the lemon juice, vinegar and olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and stir to combine. Stir in the reserved tiny diced veggies and serve.

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