recipe by Lori Ross
Serve this cold soup instead of a salad with paella. You can easily gazpacho in a blender, food processor or by hand. Simply chop vegetables into smaller pieces if you are making the soup by hand.
2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
2 tsps of salt and ½ tsp of pepper
3 large, ripe tomatoes, chopped
1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
1 cucumber, seeded and chopped
1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
2 tbsps of sherry or red wine vinegar
1 cup tomato juice or Spicy Bloody Mary tomato mix
½ cup vodka
Scallions, trimmed and finely chopped
Bread Croutons (store bought or cubed day-old bread sautéed in 1 tbsp olive oil until crisp)
Hot sauce (optional)
Mix garlic, salt and pepper in a bowl. If you are using a blender, place garlic mixture and the other ingredients in blender bowl and run on high for 10-15 seconds. If you are making soup by hand, simply mix ingredients in a bowl. Add tomato juice and vodka. Check the seasoning and add more salt, pepper or vinegar if needed. Pour the mixture into a serving bowl or pitcher. Cover it and leave it in the fridge. Place gazpacho in attractive bowls or wine glasses with spoons and place garnishes in individual small bowls on the table and encourage guests to serve themselves.
Variations: If you want a creamier consistency to the soup, slowly add ¼ cup olive oil to the soup while in the blender. Alternatively, you may want to top soup with a dollop of sour cream, crème fraiche or plain yogurt.
Seafood gazpacho: A delicious treat for non-vegetarians is topping the soup with cooked and peeled shrimp and/or lump crabmeat.