Saturday, July 30, 2011

My Best Gazpacho Recipe and So Easy

I've been really remiss with posting lately. I've been traveling quite a bit and it's just been a busy summer overall and I almost decided to give up on the blog altogether. I often wonder if anyone's enjoying my recipes other than me?! But I'm still squeaking out some traffic so I do hope that someone out there finds my site useful.

Summer . . . ah, summer. It's been supremely hot around here lately and there are days I simply don't want to eat anything hot. Gazpacho is the perfect antidote. When I was small I hated cold soups.
My mother always loved gazpacho and I never quite understood it. I get it now. Boy, do I get it now!
After visiting Spain a couple times, I've been obsessed with finding the just right gazpacho recipe.But to be honest there really there is no wrong recipe for gazpacho. It's really just a bunch or pureed veggies and seasoning. The key to a good gazpacho is to serve it very cold. This is one of my favorite recipes but I still have yet to pull out Mom's vintage recipes and try them. Until then, I'm sticking with it.

My Best (and Easy) Gazpacho Recipe - Andalusian Style!
2.5 - 3 pounds fresh, very ripe tomatoes
1 English cucumber
1/2 red onion
1 red pepper
2 slices bread (2" of stale Italian works best)
2-3 cloves of garlic (use more if you like a lot of garlic)
2 tbs. red wine vinegar
1 tbs. sherry
1-3 pinches of sugar
2-3 pinches of cumin
5-6 dashes of Tabasco
salt to taste (1-2 tsp. is about what I use)
olive oil and avocado for garnish (optional)

Roughly chop onions, pepper and cucumber. Sprinkle with salt and set aside.

Optional step: You can remove the skins on the tomatoes for a creamier soup but if your pressed for time, you can skip this step. Bring a pot of water to boil. Slice an "x" in the skin of each tomato. Blanch tomatoes in large pot of boiling water for 30 seconds. Drain in a colander. Cool under cold running water. Peel tomatoes.

Soak the bread in a few tablespoons of water. Gently remove and "squeeze” dry.

Place the tomatoes, bread, cucumbers, onions, garlic and peppers in a blender. Blend until the mixture is smooth. Add vinegar, sherry and Tabasco. Season with salt to taste.
Serve topped with a splash of good olive oil and diced avocado if desired. For a light and low calorie meal, I often eat this with 4-6 cooked shrimp. Also, although it's not very authentic but it sure tastes good, feel free to add lime, cilantro and jalapeno peppers if that suits your palate.

Also, most gazpacho recipes call for about 1/2 cup of olive oil. I try to keep mine low cal so I compromise and drizzle a bit on before serving. If you aren't counting calories, I urge to add about a 1/2 cup of good olive oil to the recipe. It's so worth it if you aren't watching your waistline.

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