I really hate Atlanta summers. I hate the heat, I hate the humidity, I hate the kids not having a routine and I hate that I can't cook whatever I want beacuse it is too hot in the kitchen! Other than salad, chilled soups are one of the few "no-cook" dishes that I enjoy, and gazpacho is at the top of the list. When I make a batch, I make a huge one, and will eat it for lunch every day of the week, and I don't get sick of it.
Everyone's gazpacho is different, and unless it is bland, I will eat it. This recipe is how I like it, with lots of cilantro and vinegar, and kind of chunky. Feel free to play around with this recipe. If you hate cilantro, you can completely leave it out. Add in some flat leaf parsley, scallions or chives. You can make it completely fat free and leave out the oil. This recipe is so forgiving. In addition, it will stay fresh in your refrigerator for a week. Enjoy and stay cool!
1 red onion, sliced
4 cloves garlic, smashed
4 T. EVOO
1/3 c. red wine vinegar
4 # roma tomatoes, diced
1 English cucumber, peeled and diced
1 red or green bell pepper, diced
1 4oz. can tomato paste
kosher salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
1 c. chopped fresh cilantro
2/3 c. tomato juice (or V8 juice)
hot sauce, to taste
optional: sour cream or plain Greek yogurt for garnish
Puree all ingredients in a food processor until chunky. It will be most likely be necessary to process it in 2 – 3 batches, so begin with the first 4 or 5 ingredients, process and pour into a large bowl. Repeat with the next several ingredients and keep repeating until all of the ingredients are used up. Taste the soup and adjust it to your liking For example, I use extra cilantro and red wine vinegar.
Chill 1 – 2 hours before serving. Garnish with sour cream or yogurt and extra hot sauce.