My mom called me a couple weeks ago and asked if I had a recipe for gazpacho, and I did not! Truth be told, I didn't even know what gazpacho was (but I didn't tell my mom that). I promised to find and send her a recipe. First, I turned to my homegirl Ina, and her recipe looked fantastic. And to give my mom some more options, I also sent along PW's recipe.
And then, all I could think of was gazpacho, which, it turns out, is a cold, tomato-based soup. (But I'm sure everyone else in the world already knew that.) I decided to make it the night Matt and Elisa arrived.
This is the perfect summer meal because it's light but totally satisfying, and (here's the kicker) you don't have to cook anything. It's been like a billion degrees here lately, so when you turn on the stove or the oven, a little part of your soul dies.
So, the thing about gazpacho is that it's made up of tons of finely diced veggies, and if you're not really into chopping veggies, maybe you should use a food processor. I was seriously thinking about this until I realized three things: 1) I was going to make it during Bria's nap. 2) I like chopping vegetables. 3) I don't have a big enough food processor.
So I hand-chopped everything, and it was so delightful to just stand up to my counter and chop, chop, chop while Bria napped the afternoon away. Then, you just combine everything in a big beautiful bowl, and you're done. Seriously. Chop, chop, chop, combine, done.
I served it up with some Trader Joe's cornbread, which resulted in a small part of my soul dying while it baked, but it was soooo worth it. That stuff is good. As was the gazpacho. It tasted exactly how the last days of spring should taste-- vibrant, alive, and fresh. We all gobbled it down, including Bria. She ate two bowls of her own, then she climbed up onto Elisa's lap and demanded Elisa's bowl. And also? I'm going to stop pretending I have any idea whatsoever of how to take pictures of my food. But here's what it all looked like:
And now for the recipe:
(adapted from Ina Garten and Pioneer Woman)
1 hothouse cucumber, not peeled, seeds removed
1/2 red bell pepper
1/2 orange bell pepper
4-5 roma tomatoes, seeds removed
1 red onion
3 garlic cloves
1 stalk celery
32 ounces tomato juice
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 extra virgin olive oil
dash kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Finely dice all vegetables and toss them into a bowl with remaining ingredients. Stir thoroughly and refrigerate until cold. Serve chilled with avocado, sour cream, cilantro, and a splash of lime.