As much as I love my chilled cucumber soup, you’d think I’d be a long-time fan of gazpacho. But, in truth, not so much. There are so many ways to stir up tomatoes that I’d never felt compelled to turn them into a cool dinnertime slush. But the heat this summer has made me reconsider. I flipped through several recipes before landing on this one and was even skeptical as I began tossing veggies into the blender. But this gazpacho was good. Like ohmygoodness-I-need-to-make-another-batch-of-this good. So, don’t let summer pass you by without giving this recipe a try. It’s a keeper.
Inspired by NYT Cooking’s Best Gazpacho
Makes 4 to 6 dinnertime servings, more as an appetizer
- About 2 pounds ripe red tomatoes, cored and roughly cut into chunks
- 1 cubanelle, Anaheim, or roasted red pepper, cored, seeded and roughly cut into chunks (Warning: a green bell pepper will overwhelm the subtle tastes of this dish)
- 1 cucumber, about 8 inches long, peeled and roughly cut into chunks
- 1 small mild onion (white or red), peeled and roughly cut into chunks
- 1 clove garlic
- 2 tsp. rice vinegar, more to taste
- 1 tsp. fine sea salt
- ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil, more to taste
- garnish with avocado, diced chives or basil, or a dollop of sour cream if you wish
- Combine tomatoes, pepper, cucumber, onion and garlic in a blender and blend at high speed until very smooth. Pause occasionally to scrape down the sides with a rubber spatula or spoon.
- Add vinegar and salt. With the motor running, slowly drizzle in the olive oil. The mixture will turn bright orange and become smooth and emulsified, like a salad dressing. If it still seems watery, drizzle in more olive oil until texture is creamy.
- Chill until very cold, several hours or overnight.
- Before serving, adjust seasonings. If soup is very thick, stir in a few tablespoons ice water. Ladle into bowls and top with desired garnish.