Friday, August 26, 2011

It's a great time to make gazpacho

With farmer’s markets and supermarkets brimming with the best of summer produce, and the heat still upon us, it’s great time to make a batch of gazpacho, a cold vegetable soup.
   Tomatoes, cucumbers, sweet onions and red bell peppers join with garlic, vinegar and tomato juice to produce magic in America’s Test Kitchen’s brilliant version of Gazpacho (click for the recipe).
   I made a batch of it for supper one night while on vacation recently. I was happy there was a lot left over, because it was so delicious. I ate a bowl for lunch each day for the rest of the week, stopping to completely rest each time to savor the wonderful experience.
   When my mother gave me some cucumbers from her garden and I told her I was going to make gazpacho with them, she admitted the concept of cold soup freaked her out a little.
   There is no need to be freaked out about cold soup – making gazpacho is like making a salad with some liquid added. And eating cold soup is practically as good as having an icy cold drink to cool down on a hot day.
   With the exception of some labor-intensive chopping, this Gazpacho is easy to make.
   The recipe I linked to above on a website is exactly the same one I used from America’s Test Kitchen.
   Chopped tomatoes, red bell peppers, cucumbers, sweet onions, garlic, sherry vinegar (I substituted white-wine vinegar) and table salt are combined in a non-reactive bowl and left to stand for about five minutes.
   Tomato juice, optional hot pepper sauce and ice cubes are added, and the soup is covered and refrigerated to blend flavors, at least four hours.
   Any unmelted ice cubes are removed before serving.

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