Gazpacho: What to Make When It's Too Hot to Cook Recipe
Gazpacho: What to Make When It's Too Hot to Cook

by Emma Christensen

Gazpacho is really a win-win situation. When tomatoes are at the height of their season and so ripe that they practically fall off the vine of their own free will, it's so hot that you can barely think about eating, let alone going through the motions of cooking a whole meal.

But here is a dish that takes those perfect tomatoes and turns them into a cooling summer soup, all without turning on the stove. Plus you get to throw in any other vegetables that you might have lingering in your kitchen. Cucumbers, fennel, sweet bell peppers, spicy chili peppers: Any vegetable that you enjoy straight from the garden can find a home in your next batch of gazpacho. Jazz up the flavors with a pinch of cumin or a squeeze of orange juice, and then give it all a trip through the blender.

Super-ripe tomatoes, hot day, quick and easy summer dinner: Now that's definitely win-win.

Creamy Creamless Gazpacho

Serves 4.

2 thick slices day-old bread, crusts removed

1 1/2 pounds (about 5 medium) ripe tomatoes

1 cucumber, peeled and roughly chopped

1 red pepper, roughly chopped

1 shallot, roughly chopped

2 cloves garlic

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons lemon juice (from 1/2 lemon)

Splash of red wine or balsamic vinegar

1 teaspoon salt

Tear the bread into pieces and place them into the bowl of a food processor or blender. Quarter the tomatoes and trim out the tough core around the stem. Squeeze the juice from each quarter over the bread and layer the juiced tomatoes on top. Let the bread sit for about fifteen minutes to soak up the tomato juice.

Blend the bread and the tomatoes for about 30 seconds. Add the remaining ingredients and blend for another 30-60 seconds, until very smooth. Taste and add more salt or lemon juice as needed.

Chill for an hour before serving. Leftovers will keep refrigerated for up to a week.

Spicy Smoky Southwestern Gazpacho

Serves 4.

3 pounds (about 10 medium) ripe tomatoes

2-3 chilies en adobo, minced, with their sauce

2 clove garlic

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Splash of red wine or balsamic vinegar

1 teaspoon salt

To garnish:

1 cucumber, diced

1 red pepper, diced

1 green pepper, diced

1 avocado, diced

Quarter the tomatoes and trim out the tough core around the stem. Place the tomatoes in a food processor or blender with the chilies en adobo, garlic, olive oil, red wine and salt. Blend for 30-60 seconds. Taste and add more adobo sauce or salt if desired. Blend for another 30-60 seconds until completely smooth. Chill for an hour before serving.

Combine the garnish ingredients in a bowl. To serve, ladle the gazpacho into bowls, and then top with a few spoonfuls of the garnish and a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil.

Leftovers will keep refrigerated for up to a week.

Gazpacho With Fennel And Orange

Serves 4

1 1/2 pounds (about 5 medium) ripe tomatoes

2 fist-sized bulbs of fennel

1 shallot

1 orange

3 tablespoons lemon juice (squeezed from one lemon)

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon salt

Quarter the tomatoes and trim out the tough core around the stem. Place the tomatoes in a food processor or blender. Roughly chop the fennel and shallot, and add them to the tomatoes. Halve the orange and squeeze the juice over the vegetables. Add the lemon juice, olive oil and salt.

Blend for 30-60 seconds. Taste and add more salt if desired. Blend for another 30-60 seconds until completely smooth.

Chill for an hour before serving. Leftovers will keep refrigerated for up to a week.

 

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