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Silky Smooth Summer Gazpacho


silky smooth summer gazpacho

Silky Smooth Summer Gazpacho

Makes about 6 cups


The perfect antidote to a sultry summer night is a chilled cup of tangy gazpacho. Gazpacho originated in Spain, which is probably why the dish is served cold! Oodles of variations exist for this classic summer soup, ranging from a creamy white version made with almonds to a refreshing sweet one that uses watermelon. Some swear by using bread as a thickener, while others omit it for a lighter version. There are those who like a chunky mouthful and those who blend until silky and smooth. Blending to silky smoothness creates a creaminess that makes this low-calorie soup rich and filling.


Gazpacho brings together all the best flavors of the summer in one gulp. Juicy tomatoes, sweet red peppers, and cooling cucumbers are the stars of this recipe and not only do they play well together, they deliver a powerful punch of plant-powered goodness. You'll get lots of vitamin C and important antioxidants, including lycopene, a plant compound linked to improved heart health, cancer prevention, and protection against sunburns.


One thing is for certain, the only thing better than the taste of gazpacho is how easy it is to make. Toss everything into a blender and just like that, you’re ready to cool off and satisfy your appetite with a slurp or spoonful. Serve it as an appetizer in wine glasses rimmed with lime juice and margarita salt or with bruschetta for a dreamy dinner on a hot night. Extras always taste better the next day so pack a mason jar for lunch and enjoy this silky, smooth summer gazpacho under a shady tree.


Ingredients

2 pounds of ripe tomatoes

1 red bell pepper

½ large cucumber, about 4 to 5 inches

⅓ cup canned tomato sauce or tomato juice

2 large cloves garlic, peeled

1 or 2 scallions

¼ cup good olive oil

2 tablespoons sherry or red wine vinegar

1¼ teaspoons salt

½ teaspoon ground cumin

Pinch of red pepper flakes

Squeeze of lime, optional


Optional Garnishes

Toasted bread cubes or croutons

Cubed avocado

Diced cucumber

Chopped olives


Directions

Core the tomatoes and cut them in half or quarter them if large. Cut the pepper into big pieces, discarding the seeds and stem. Peel and seed the cucumber and cut it into large pieces. Peel the garlic. Trim the scallion and cut it into large pieces.


Depending on the size of your blender, you may need to blend in batches. Put all the vegetables along with the remaining ingredients into the blender and blend for about 1 minute on high speed, until everything puréed. If you prefer a chunkier texture, blend on medium speed for a shorter amount of time. Chill immediately for about 30 minutes or longer. Serve in bowls, cups, or glasses. Garnish as desired.




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