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 days 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.
Gazpacho is a mixture of tomatoes of any kind, cucumbers, scallions or spring onions and bread. The bread acts as a thickening agent and make 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.
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!