Tomato Gazpacho

tomato-gazpachoTomato Gazpacho is delightful and delicious but only if made with fresh ingredients (in my opinion).

August, at least in New Jersey is the perfect time to make this recipe.  The farm stands are filled with fresh tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers celery, onions, and herbs. I often go to the farm stand and look for the ready-to-eat produce which may have a slight blemish or soft spot. Prices are often dramatically reduced and the produce is at peak ripeness.  Purchasing  produce like this only works if you plan on using it that day.

Tomato Gazpacho is really nice served on a hot summer evening when you don’t want to heat up the kitchen and fuss with cooking.  Serve with your favorite salad and garnish the tomato gazpacho with fresh herbs.

Ingredients

  • 5 lbs ripe fresh tomatoes, about 12-15, cored
  • 1 large fresh cucumber, peeled
  • 1 med. fresh green pepper, ribs and seeds removed
  • 1/2 fresh red pepper, ribs and seeds removed
  • 1 1/2 celery ribs
  • 1/2 jalapeno pepper
  • 4 fresh garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1/2 red onion
  • 1/2 bunch fresh basil
  • 1/2 bunch fresh parsley
  • 1 can tomato juice
  • 1 ciabatta roll or peasant-type bread, cut into large cubes
  • Red wine vinegar, to taste
  • Extra virgin olive oil, to taste
  • Salt, pepper, to taste
  • Tabasco, to taste

 Directions

  • Coarsely chop the vegetables and herbs and put into a large pot.
  • Add the tomato juice and bread. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator.
  • Allow the mixture to marinate 2-3 hours, overnight is even better.
  • Puree the mixture in a blender in batches until smooth.
  • Season to your own taste with the red wine vinegar, salt, pepper and Tabasco
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