Chef’s Notes: I could very easily eat gazpacho every day, all summer long (and I sometimes do!). When tomatoes, peppers, and summer squashes are ripe, the flavor of this cold soup is incomparable. What distinguishes my version from others is a quick sweating, or cooking down, of the vegetables before pureeing. The inclusion of that little bit of heat caramelizes and sweetens up the vegetables, creating a soup that is profoundly satisfying on a warm day.
Serves 8 to 10
- 3 garlic cloves
- Pinch of coarse salt
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1 large onion, diced
- 3 medium carrots, peeled and diced
- 2 red, yellow, or orange bell peppers, diced
- 1 pound yellow squash or zucchini, diced
- 1 quart organic vegetable juice
- 3 tablespoons white wine, red wine, or balsamic vinegar
- Juice of 1 lime
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- A few dashes of hot sauce
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons sea salt
- Several grinds of black pepper
- 3 pounds fresh tomatoes, diced
- 2 pounds cucumbers, seeded and diced
- Almond slivers
- Toast points
- Chopped fresh parsley, cilantro, or lemon balm
- Hot sauce
Mince the garlic finely and then chop a pinch of coarse salt into it. Leave to sit for a few minutes while you prepare the vegetables.
Warm the olive oil in a stockpot over medium-high heat. Add the onion, carrots, bell peppers, squash, and prepared garlic and reduce the heat to low. Cook for 10 to 12 minutes, until the onion is translucent and the vegetables are fragrant and limp.
Add the vegetable juice, wine, lime juice, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, cumin, sea salt, and black pepper to the pot. Cook for 2 more minutes.
Remove from the heat, and set aside for 20 to 30 minutes, until the soup mixture is not hot anymore (warm is OK).
Working in batches, pour the cooled mixture into a food processor and pulse until there are no big pieces but it is still a bit textured. Transfer to a large bowl.
Working in batches, pulse the diced tomatoes in the food processor until a similar consistency is achieved, then stir them into the vegetable mixture in the bowl. Stir in the diced cucumbers.
Cover the bowl and place in the refrigerator to chill. Gazpacho can be made the night before serving; in fact, doing so helps the flavors to “set up” and develop. To serve, ladle the soup into bowls. Garnish with optional toppings as desired.
Reprinted from “A Year of Picnics” by Ashley English, copyright 2017 by Ashley English. Photographs copyright 2017 by Jen Altman. Reprinted in arrangement with Roost Books, an imprint of Shambhala Publications, Inc. Boulder, CO.