Chilled Gazpacho soup is the perfect hot-weather starter for your summer dinner party. More festive than salad, this slightly spicy version starts with super juicy fresh tomatoes and can be served either chunky and rustic or perfectly smooth. Don't skip the easy to make garlic croutons! —Lynda Marren
Ingredients for Gazpacho
red onions, chopped
red bell peppers
ripe plum tomatoes
medium cucumbers, peeled & seeded
jalapeno peppers, seeded and diced
fresh ground pepper
Suggestions for Garnish (pick 3 or 4)
Italian parsley, chopped
Green onions, diced
Red pepper, diced
Yellow pepper, diced
Fresh basil or chives
Lime sour cream (1 cup sour cream, Zest of 3 limes, Salt & pepper)
Saute red onions and garlic in olive oil on low heat until translucent. Set aside in a bowl in an ice bath.
Add red bell peppers to frying pan and cook until slightly soft. Add to onion and garlic ice bath.
Blanche plum tomatoes in boiling water to detach skin. Remove from pan with a slotted spoon, peel away skin, slice in quarters and remove seeds and juice.
In a food processor, puree the tomatoes until smooth. Remove from food processor into a large container with a lid that fits in the refrigerator.
Add onions, garlic, red peppers, cucumbers & jalapenos to the food processor. Puree until smooth.
Add remaining ingredients to food processor and blend on pulse mode until combined and smooth.
Mix with tomatoes and chill for at least 4 hours.
To make croutons: In small bowl, mince 2 cloves garlic and add 1/4 teaspoon salt and 3 Tablespoons olive oil. Stir to combine. Cut 2 cups country style bread into 1/4" cubes. Preheat oven to 350•F. Put bread cubes on baking sheet and drizzle garlic oil over bread. Toss to coat. Bake until lightly brown, 12-15minutes.
Note: Before serving, taste the soup and add salt to taste. Prepare choice of garnishes. Serve in individual bowls and place garnish in center of bowl.