Although Memorial Weekend is the official mark of summer, anyone who was in New York City this past weekend knows that the long, hot, glorious days of summer are upon us! Finally.
There is nothing in this world I love more than hot weather and sunshine, and all the novelties that go along with it.
Lemonade and iced tea! Watermelon, stone fruits, and berries! Popsicles! Gardens and fresh produce! Picnics! Barbeques! Pools! Tans! Freckles!
No doubt about it… summer is the best season for food, fun, and frolicking. And gazpacho, a cold tomato and summer-veggie-packed soup, is the picture perfect example of this.
Gazpacho is like a mix between salsa and tomato soup; you eat it with a spoon [which isn’t to say I haven’t done that with salsa], but has the satisfying kick of a great mild salsa. It’s more nutritionally dense than your average condiment, and is packed with grated veggies. With no dairy or perishables in sight, it’s the perfect pack-and-go lunch, cool afternoon by the pool snack, and appetizer when you’re throwin’ some stuff on the Barbie!
It’s super versatile, exceptionally satisfying, virtually calorie free, detoxifying, and quick.
It’s what summer is all about.
Makes 4 servings
The original recipe is from my Mom and calls for cucumber and red pepper as the main veggies. I didn’t have either, so I created my own version using what I had. Turned out as good as ever!
1 28 oz crushed tomatoes
1 T. Green Chili’s [I used to the canned kind from TJ’s]
2 carrots, peeled
½ red onion
3 cloves garlic
¼ c. basil leaves, minced
2 T. red wine vinegar
S + P to taste
Add the tomatoes, with their juices, to a large bowl.
In the food processor or blender, process the zucchini, carrot, and red onion + garlic + green chilies individually, adding to the tomatoes after each is shredded. You want little pieces, but not liquid. [You can also grate all the ingredients for the same effect].
Scoop the bigger chunks of tomato into the blender and process until you have the desired constancy. I’m a smooth-with-small-chunks person, but whatever floats your boat!
Add the red wine vinegar and minced basil. Season with a healthy dose of salt and pepper.
Cover and put in the fridge to cool for at least 20 minutes. Enjoy!
Sorry about the picture quality… I was so excited to it I forgot to take pictures of it!