Bowl of Gazpacho

Cheater Gazpacho

Bowl of GazpachoI live in the Northwest. We do not get decent tomatos here. Oh, they may look beautiful…but the flavor is not as good as what I remember from California. We do have some grown on the vine ones, but I find they are a little spendy. Of course, it could also be that I’m basically lazy and worse in the summer heat. This is an ideal recipe for the middle of summer. You fix it early in the morning and then let it chill all day (oir at least 2 hours) in the refrigerator. This quantity makes enough for 5 or 6 people the way my family eats.

  • 4 cans diced tomatos with bell peppers — don’t drain!
  • 1/2 onion diced
  • 1 large cucumber peeled and diced
  • 12-24 oz V8 juice
  • 1 tsp crushed garlic
  • tabasco or diced jalapeno if you want the spice*

That’s my basic recipe. Dump everything in a bowl. Add as much V8 as you need to make it soupy. You can add water if you need to. After it has chilled for several hours add salt and pepper to taste. *If you find it has gotten too hot — it gets spicier the longer it sits! — just add a little bit of sugar. This is a good way to mellow out a portion for a small child as well. I learned this trick from a waiter at a Thai restaurant that had a new cook who was a little heavy-handed with the spices.

Today I tried a slightly different version and it looks yummy.

  • 1/2 lb fresh cut pico de gallo salsa*
  • 1/2 lb fresh ceviche (this is like salsa with shrimp and seafood added)
  • 1 large cucumber peeled and diced
  • 24 oz V8 juice
  • 10 oz water
  • 1 tbsp crushed garlic

My family loves garlic. I love to toss in shrimp or other cooked seafood, whatever is on sale. Today, none of that was on sale, but the ceviche WAS! If you like garbanzo beans in your gazpacho, feel free to add them in. Me, I tend to pick them out, so I don’t put them in my version.

*Note: after sitting, this one was pretty spicy. My family is going to love it, except for the 4 year old who will get the sweetened version.

Now if you are fortunate enough to live where you can get a GOOD, RIPE tomato, by all means, try this by dicing your own tomatos. If you’re really talented and can get all of the chunks the same size, it is pretty, but the point of this restfull summer soup is to have dinner happily in the refrigerator with only a few minutes of work. For me, the hardest part is going to the store for the fresh cucumber, because I find that makes a huge difference in the taste. This soup should crunch when you eat it.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *