I did not like tomato soup. On a cold winter day, if I came in from the snow and a bowl of piping hot tomato soup was on the table and I’d turn around and go back into the deep freeze. I loved fresh tomatoes, could sometimes stomach red pasta sauce (although I preferred white sauce or butter with my noodles) and also disliked ketchup (still do).
I would have bet that the idea that I would make, and like….and make and like again and again a cold tomato soup would never happen. Glad I didn’t make that bet, because I love me some Gazpacho. The perfect summer soup, it has the taste of the garden in every bite. Not all Gazpacho is made well though. The day I am writing this up, I had a cup of it at work and besides being a very un tomato shade of purplish/red, it was disgusting.
After I had set this up to take a picture, my wife walked into the room and said, “Oh my God that looks good!”. I agree. I use Splenda in place of sugar.
Chopped and ready for the food processor.
You will have to do this in 3 or more batches. Do not overfill or you will be sorry.
The advantage of processing in batches (and make sure you mix it well before scooping into the processor) is that I intentionally end up with varying textures. One batch is very fine, one small and one medium.
The topping mixture. The first three times I made it I forgot the topping in the fridge when I served it. Don’t. It’s great stuff.
Cook Time: 1 hr 0 min | Makes: 3 quarts, 6 to 8 servings
2 pounds, about 10 Roma tomatoes, cored and chopped
1/2 red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and chopped
1 English cucumber, peeled, seeded, and chopped
2 medium celery stalks, chopped
1/2-cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 cups tomato juice
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup sherry wine vinegar
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 to 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
1/4 cup red bell pepper, cored, seeded, trimmed, and cut into 1/4 inch dice
1/4 cup yellow bell pepper, cored, seeded, trimmed, and cut into 1/4 inch dice
1/4 cup red onion, peeled, trimmed, and cut into 1/4 inch dice
1/4 cup cucumber, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1/4 inch dice
1/2 cup red and yellow pear tomatoes, coarsely chopped
3 ripe avocados, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1/2 inch dice
1 cup minced fresh cilantro leaves
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
Freshly ground black pepper
Garnishes (ALL OPTIONAL):
12 to 16 large shrimp, peeled, deveined, butterflied, poached, and chilled
6 to 8 sprigs fresh cilantro
6 to 8 wedges lime
In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients for the soup. Refrigerate for 1 hour. Transfer to a food processor and pulse until almost pureed, leaving a little texture. Season with salt and pepper. Return to bowl, cover, and refrigerate for 1 hour before serving. Prepare topping mixture. In a medium bowl, combine all the ingredients until well blended. Season with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate until needed. To serve: Ladle 10 to 12 ounces into chilled soup plates. On a large serving spoon, place 1/4 cup of the topping mixture, top with 2 shrimp, and garnish with a sprig of cilantro. Carefully place in the center of the plate of soup. Place a wedge of lime on the rim of the plate.