There is nothing like gazpacho in summertime. Gazpacho is a cold, spicy, raw tomato soup which originated in southern Spain, made with peppers, onion, garlic and cucumbers which are either diced and/or blended.
It is so nice on a hot day to not have to turn on the oven. Besides that, it's a great way to use up all those tomatoes in your garden. And it's gluten-free, casein-free, and GAPS-legal.
Notes on this Recipe
There are many different recipes for gazpacho. Most contain bread and tomato juice. I don't use bread and I like to make gazpacho with chicken stock instead of tomato juice. Chicken stock adds a lot more flavor, and it's also a lot nutrient-dense than using water or tomato juice. And chicken stock is good for digestion. If you have issues with digestion (food intolerances, discomfort, etc.), incorporating chicken stock into your diet will help.
I have made this recipe with and without the herbs and hot peppers (jalapenos). I like it both ways. If you like hot and spicy, use the hot peppers. If you prefer a more mild soup, you can skip it. If you have the herbs in your garden, throw them in. If you don't, the soup will still come out great. If the soup comes out too spicy for you, you can always add more tomato and cucumber at the end.
The texture is also up to you. Some people like a very chunky diced gazpacho. Others prefer a very smooth blended soup. I like mine somewhere in between. If you want it chunky, use a knife and not a food processor. If you like it smooth, don't even bother cutting anything up and throw everything in the food processor or blender. If you're like me and like it somewhere in between, cut the veggies into large chunks and use your food processor's pulse function and don't overblend.
This soup gets more flavorful over time. So, ideally, make it 12-24 hours in advance. I'm never that good at planning ahead myself — but we always enjoy the leftovers the next day. You can eat this out of the fridge for a few days — or you can freeze it in ice cube trays.
Homemade chicken stock (3 cups, about 24 ounces)
Medium tomatoes (5-6) — I like to use a blend of red and yellow
Large cucumbers (2) or Persian cucumbers (4)
Red bell pepper (1) or yellow bell pepper (1) — or 1/2 of each — you can also use green bell pepper; I just don't like the taste as much)
Large red onion (1/2) or small red onion (1)
Balsamic or red wine vinegar
Freshly ground black pepper
Optional: Jalapeno or serrano pepper (1)
Optional: Parsley (1 bunch)
Optional: Basil (1 bunch)
Optional: Cilantro (1 bunch)
Optional: Freshly squeezed lemon or lime
1. If you keep your chicken stock frozen like I do, warm it up in a saucepan. When warm, pour into a bowl and stick it in the fridge to let it cool down.
2. Peel the tomatoes, remove the seeds, and cut into large chunks. The best way to peel tomatoes: fill a medium saucepan halfway with water (enough to cover your tomatoes), bring to a boil, place the tomatoes in and boil for one minute — set aside to cool and peel). Add to the a bowl, or the bowl of your food processor. (I do it in my food processor.)
3. Peel the cucumbers, scrape out the seeds, and cut into large pieces. Add to bowl.
4. Remove the seeds from the peppers and cut them up into large pieces. Add to bowl.
5. Peel the onion and cut it up, crush the garlic and add to bowl.
6. If using, rinse the parsley/basil/cilantro, chop, and add to bowl.
7. If using the food processor, pulse a few times for chunkier gazpacho. Blend longer for smoother gazpacho.
8. Transfer to a large bowl. Add the cooled chicken stock. Add a glug of olive oil and a glug of vinegar. If using lemon or lime juice, squeeze a little in. Stir.
9. Season to taste with sea salt and freshly grated black pepper.
10. Taste and add olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper until it is to your liking.
11. Serve with ice cubes and/or, if you have some on hand, chunks of avocado.