Summertime Favorites

July 16, 2010 19:41

Hot and humid.  That's the kind of weather we've been getting here in Maryland for the last few weeks.  I don't know about you, but I have a hard time eating when it gets like this.

But I have a hard time getting enough of one of my favorite summertime treats, Gazpacho.

This soup, served cold, is really easy to prepare and very refreshing.  Sadly, my homegrown tomatoes are not quite ready yet, so I had to improvise.  My guests and I were really impressed with the results, and I hope you'll try some soon.

Gazpacho

serves 4

1 1/2 pounds ripe tomatoes, cored and roughly chopped

2 14.5 oz cans Mexican style stewed tomatoes

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1 large cucumber, peeled, seeded and roughly chopped, more for garnish

1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped

1 bell pepper, cored, seeded and roughly chopped

1 small yellow onion, chopped

3 tb orange juice

1 1/2 cup croutons

3 tb red wine vinegar

Put tomatoes, garlic, cucumbers, jalapeno, red bell peppers, and onions in a large bowl and toss to combine.

Working in batches, puree vegetables in a blender or food processor until smooth, adding a little water if the mixture seems too thick.  Strain puree through a medium sieve to remove peels and seeds, discarding any solids.

Transfer smooth puree into a large bowl and whisk in juice and red wine vinegar.  Cover and chill well.  Place  1 cup croutons in food processor.  Pulse several times until croutons have been reduced to medium fine bread crumbs.

Before serving, whisk bread crumbs into puree . Transfer to individual bowls and serve immediately, sprinkling remaining croutons on top, if desired.

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