I love making soup. And this time of year, every year, I start to get the itch to return to the kitchen, to chop, sautee, and simmer; to walk back in the door and smell something cooking. As appealing as that sounds, this is not that soup. It's just too.damn.hot in Atlanta to even think about it! So what's the next best thing? Cold soup!
Gazpacho is a raw blend of tons of fresh summer vegetables that I always enjoy at restaurants or friends' houses, but have never made myself. My parents have a huge veggie garden and left us with pounds of beautiful red heirloom tomatoes; so many that I was having trouble using them all up! I made this gazpacho on a Sunday afternoon and we ate it for dinner with baked french bread. John and I both agreed that next go round we'd rather have it as a starter or side than the main course; the flavors are really intense and would probably be enjoyed better in smaller portions. Luckily we had plenty of leftovers, and I even sent some home with my dad so he and my mom could enjoy the fruits of their labors (literally!)
Recipe Source: adapted from Real Simple
4 stalks celery, chopped
3 red bell peppers, chopped
3 small fennel bulbs, chopped
1 lb fresh tomatoes
1 bunch scallions, chopped
1 sweet onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic
4 cups V8 juice
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon hot sauce
Chop all veggies and place them in a food processor (you'll need to do this in batches because there are too many veggies to place in at once!). Pulse until finely chopped. You can alter how long you pulse them based on how much texture you like. I like a lot of texture (it makes me feel like I'm eating my vegetables!) but you could make this much smoother.
Transfer to a large glass bowl and stir in the tomato juice, lemon juice, hot sauce, and a little bit of olive oil. Add 2 teaspoons of salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper.
Cover and refrigerate for 2 - 6 hours. Real Simple recommends serving this with slices of lime; I bought the lime but forgot to use them - I think this would add a nice punch though!