Gazpacho is a cold vegetable soup which truly makes the most of all of the produce that’s available at the end of summer, tomatoes in particular (they are the star of the show). The order in which the ingredients are pulsed does not matter; just make sure you pulse the minced jalapeno and garlic with at least one of the cubed vegetables so it all incorporates nicely. You can pulse the vegetables coarsely, or until they are pretty finely ground, and you can add more or less tomato juice as you please–gazpacho is a very personal balance between flavor and texture.
You can also add more bell peppers, and it’s nice to include a mix of colors (let the kids pick them out at the market!). If you don’t have jalapeno, you can use a shot or two of hot sauce. Put out hot sauce on the table either way and let people spice up their bowls as they wish.
Kids love pulsing the food processor, with proper supervision of course! They can also help chop vegetables with an age appropriate knife–but leave the jalapeno for more careful hands and wash your hands thoroughly with warm soapy water after you mince it.
- 1 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1 red onion, peeled and cubed
- 1 large seedless cucumber, cubed
- 2 stalks celery, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 2 small zucchini, cubed
- 1 medium bulb fennel, trimmed, cored and cut into 1-inch pieces (optional)
- 1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded and cubed
- 8 large plum tomatoes, cored, seeded and cut into 1-inch chunks
- 1 teaspoon minced jalapeno (or to taste)
- 4 cups tomato juice
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- Kosher or coarse salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- Lime wedges to serve (optional)
In the bowl of a food processor or in a blender, combine the minced garlic with the onion and cucumber and pulse until finely chopped but do NOT puree! Turn into a bowl. Place the celery and zucchini into the food processor and do the same, then add those to the cucumber mixture. Repeat with fennel and pepper, turn that mixture into the bowl, then the tomatoes and jalapeno, and turn those into the bowl as well. Stir to mix.
Scoop one cup of the vegetable mixture back into the food processor, then add the tomato juice, olive oil and vinegar and season with salt and pepper. Puree the mixture then add it to the bowl, stir to combine well and check the seasonings.
Chill the soup for at least three hours, and up to two days (the longer you let sit in the fridge, the more the flavors meld), and serve quite cold. Stir well before seasoning and pass the lime wedges on the side if desired.