A satisfying, refreshing tomato based soup chock full of crunchy vegetables.
I have no idea how it happened.
It seemed just the other day I was planting seeds and starter plants in my community garden plots and Wham-O, the end of the harvest is now approaching.
Where did the time go?
I was so busy trying to find ways to use up the (over) abundance of summer squash that grew this year that I completely forgot about my squash-less favorite warm weather soup.
Not that it has to be consumed only in warm weather. That just seems to be when it is most refreshing. Nothing can beat a cool soup on a hot day. So get out your largest cutting board and your sharpest knife because there’s going to be a whole lotta choppin’ going on!
Gazpacho is delicious anytime the veggies are at their peak. It is a great way to use up some of those colorful peppers you went overboard on at the market, or the cucumbers that grew like mad in your garden. Biting into those crunchy vegetables is so satisfying. You could purée your Gazpacho, but I like to leave mine chunky, which is the Portuguese version. Don’t you find chewing much more satisfying than just swallowing? Maybe that is why I am not a big smoothie drinker. And that jaw action is definitely burning more calories, right?
Although the evening temperatures have already dipped into the 40’s here in Minnesota, I am still holding out for an Indian summer. I am not quite ready to dive headfirst into fall and all things pumpkin quite yet. I plan to savor the last remaining warm days by enjoying a bowl of summer vegetable goodness. I still have tomatillos, beets, carrots, kale, leeks and dare I say it, squash, growing in my community garden plots. They don’t need to be cleared out until October 31. Until then I will be celebrating the bounty of summer, no matter what the weatherman or the calendar says.
Make this Gazpacho while you still can. The clock is ticking. Fresh summer vegetables will soon be disappearing off the shelves of grocery stores and market stands. Have one last hurrah and make is a Spanish theme. Serve this Gazpacho with Spanish Toast and your favorite cerveza. Or mix up a batch and slowly savor the flavors of summer as you watch Mother Nature work her magic on the outdoor panorama.
To your health. Salud.
- 1 (8 ounce can) tomato paste mixed with 12 ounces water (1 full can plus half a can)
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 1 tbsp honey
- 1 tomato, chopped into bite size pieces
- 1 green bell pepper, chopped into bite size pieces
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped into bite size pieces
- 1 rib celery, chopped into bite size pieces
- 1/2 cucumber, chopped into bite size pieces
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- hot pepper sauce, added to taste
- freshly ground pepper, added to taste
- Mix the tomato paste, water, olive oil, red wine vinegar, and honey in a bowl.
- Add all the chopped vegetables and seasonings.
- Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary
- I used an 8 ounce can of tomato paste mixed with about 12 ounces of water for the tomato base. A 15 ounce can of tomato sauce could be used instead
- The cucumber can be seeded, but I don't bother.
- I used Sriracha for the hot sauce. I have used Tabasco and Frank's Red Hot in the past. Use your favorite.
- Adjust amount of liquid by adding more water, flavored stock or tomato juice if it is too thick. This would be a good way to use up any bean liquor if you have it on hand.
- Left overs will keep in a covered container in the refrigerator for about 4 days. It will thicken. Thin by using one of the above methods.
- 15 Minute Vegetarian is a little misleading, unless you are a super chopper, or already have everything prepped. It took me slightly longer than that, chopping as I was going along.
As always, thanks for stopping by, and please visit often.