Quick and easy vegetable gazpacho recipe
The vibrant taste and garlicky aroma of this soup transport me thousands of miles away, to sunny Andalusia at the southernmost tip of Spain. A little kick from balsamic vinegar, a few drops of hot sauce, and a nearly fat-free bowl of fresh vegetables provide a refreshing summertime lunch or dinner. And to think that I never made gazpacho until I bought my first food processor, thirty or so years ago. Now it takes just minutes for this soup to come together. My quick-and-easy pared-down version has a base of V-8 juice, which is tomato-vegetable juice with salt and spices added; if you can't find it in your market, substitute tomato juice, and add more salt and pepper. Gazpacho will keep for several days in the refrigerator. Serve it icy cold.
Quick and easy vegetable gazpacho
1 slice bread, anything you have (I've used sourdough, country white, oat bran)
1 large clove garlic, peeled
A pinch of ground cumin
1 English (seedless) cucumber, ends trimmed, cut into large chunks
1 green bell pepper, seeded, cut in quarters
1 red bell pepper, seeded, cut in quarters
1 yellow bell pepper, seeded, cut in quarters
1 orange bell pepper, seeded, cut in quarters
4 large ripe red tomatoes, cut in half, seeded, roughly chopped
24 oz V-8 juice, or more to achieve desired consistency (do not use salt-free)
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
Hot sauce, to taste (I like Tabasco®)
Coarse sea salt and black pepper, to taste
Place bread, garlic and cumin in a food processor, and pulse until finely chopped. Empty into a very large (nonreactive) bowl.
In the food processor, chop to desired consistency the bell peppers, cucumber, and tomato (in batches, as necessary) and add to the bowl with the bread/garlic mixture. Stir in remaining ingredients, and adjust seasoning to taste. This soup should be very chunky, but if you'd like a smoother consistency, return a few cups of soup to the food processor and puree.
Refrigerate for at least two hours to allow flavors to marry. Serve very cold.