Summertime for most of us here in Southern California, really begins to heat up in late August and September, and that just so happens to be the case this week. Cooking on a hot stove, while trying to help kids with their homework, or finish up your day’s work on a laptop seems nearly impossible, when it’s so hot outside. However, there are easy no-cook solutions to this problem and summer soups; like Gazpacho are the answer.
Since tomatoes are at their ripest right now, making Gazpacho makes perfect sense for a quick and easy meal. Gazpacho is a mixture of tomatoes of any kind, cucumbers, scallions or spring onions and bread. The bread acts as a thickening agent and makes this tomato-based soup creamy as a bowl of ice cream – well almost. The tomatoes with their sweet acidity balance out the equation, and a splash of vinegar really perks up the mix and enhances flavor.
You can leave this soup a little chunky if you prefer, or if you have a high-speed blender like me, puree until smooth. It doesn’t matter which texture you prefer, the taste of a bowl of Gazpacho is pure summer heaven, a real treat before we say goodbye to the season.
1/2 loaf French bread, crusts removed
1/4 cup champagne vinegar, or white wine vinegar
3 scallions, sliced
3 yellow tomatoes, sliced
2 large red tomatoes, any variety – sliced
1 cucumber, peeled and seeded
4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1 sprig fresh basil
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1. Place chunks of bread in a bowl, along with champagne vinegar and 1/4 cup water. Let soak for 10 minutes. Slice and dice scallions, tomatoes, cucumber and garlic.
2. Add all ingredients to a blender or food processor. If it won’t all fit, process in two batches. Puree until smooth or leave chunky, and pour into a 1 1/2 quart sized container with fitted lid, and place in refrigerator to chill. Pour into bowls or cups. Enjoy!