A few weeks ago, we had the Great Tomato Explosion of 2012. I think we bought…8 pounds of tomatoes? It was a magical week during which Eric and I both had a bunch of recipes we were excited to make, and they all involved tomatoes. One of mine was this spicy gazpacho. Now let me tell you, I am a gazpacho girl. This classic is still a favorite (and dill is such a perfect pairing for the flavors of summer), but I was drawn by the peppers in this one. And the avocados. And, I should add, the weather definitely called for chilled soup.
There is something so simple and beautiful about summer produce: wash it, chop it, eat it. Gazpacho always makes me feel like I am making the most of summer’s bounty, and this is an impressive cast of characters.
But it looks so pretty when mixed too! You can actually stop here, if you like. I blended the vegetables a bit in the blender, but I think next time I will leave them just like this. I will never say no to a little crunch!
Our blender is a beast, and it made quick work of it, but still left some solid chunks, which I liked. I realize that this soup isn’t going to win any beauty contests, but the flavor is just out of this world. The sweetness of tomatoes, the bite of garlic, the heat of peppers, the crunch of cucumbers. It is majestic!
Spicy Gazpacho with Avocado
Adapted from The Doña Tomas Cookbook
¼ cup red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
About 1 ½ tablespoons kosher salt (I used a bit less, about 1 Tbsp)
4 pounds heirloom tomatoes
1 large cucumber, peeled, seeded (if desired), and coarsely chopped
½ white onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 small jalapeno chile, stemmed and coarsely chopped
2 avocados, cut into ¾ inch dice
½ bunch cilantro, stemmed and chopped
-Mix the vinegar, olive oil, and salt in a large serving bowl.
-Add the chopped vegetables to the bowl and mix well.
-Puree in a blender to desired consistency, or serve as is. It will be ever more wonderful the colder it is, so chill ahead if you have time, and, if not, you will have magnificent leftovers.
-Now that I’ve put this recipe in my own words, I can see the simplicity that drew me to it. Long live the easy summer dinner!