[fusion_text]A chilled soup in the summertime is always a tasty way to beat the heat.  This gazpacho recipe is just loaded with fresh ingredients and is really easy to make.  If you have a blender, a sharp knife and a cutting board, you’re good to go.  The only challenging element to this dish is peeling the tomatoes and roasting your own red pepper (if you choose to include that step).  The rest is simply chopping, blending and chilling.  I do enjoy making a big presentation out of this by placing my gazpacho filled pitcher on a bed of ice and surrounding it with individual bowls of crunch vegetables and creamy sour cream for guests to build their own unique serving.  Stay cool!

Gazpacho
makes about 8 cups

Ingredients

2 lg Tomatoes
1/2 cu Roasted Red Pepper*
1 Seedless Cucumber
1 lg Yellow Onion
1 lg Green Pepper, stem and seeds removed
1 lg Yellow Pepper, stem and seeds removed
1 tsp Fresh Dill
3 cu Tomato Juice (or V8 Juice, spicy or regular)
2 Jalapeño Peppers, stems and seeds removed
1 sm Red Pepper, stem and seeds removed
1/4 cu Light Olive Oil
1/2 cu Red Wine Vinegar
2 tbl Balsamic Vinegar
1 tsp Louisiana Hot Sauce
1/2 tsp Cumin
1/2 tsp Chili Powder
1 tsp Worchestershire Sauce
1/2 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Pepper
1/4 cu Chives, chopped for garnish
Sour Cream for garnish
Croutons for garnish

Method

Fill a pot with enough water to cover one tomato and bring it to a boil over hight heat. Score a small X across the bottom of the tomatoes with a sharp knife. Once the water is boiling, place the tomatoes, one at a time, in the water for 30 seconds. Remove and let rest for a few minutes. Once cool, peel away the skin and cut the tomatoes into large chunks. Place them in a blender with 1 cup of tomato juice and the roasted red pepper. Add 1/2 of the cucumber, onion, yellow pepper and green pepper, each roughly chopped. Add 1 jalapeño pepper and the fresh dill. Blend ingredients until smooth an tansfer to a large bowl or pitcher. Add remaining tomato juice, olive oil, red wine vinegar, balsamic vinegar, Louisiana hot sauce, cumin, chili powder, Worchestershire sauce, salt and pepper. Stir together ingredients, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours or longer.

Meanwhile, chop the remaining half cucumber, onion, green pepper and yellow pepper into a small dice. Dice the small red pepper and jalapeño as well. Place diced vegetables in separate small bowls or serving dishes (I will sometimes combine the red, yellow and green peppers into one serving bowl). Place chives, sour cream and croutons in individual serving dishes as well.

Once gazpacho is chilled, portion it out into individual chilled bowls and allow your guest to add any of the extras that they like. For a nice presentation and to keep the gazpacho chilled, place layer of crushed ice in a larger bowl and place the gazpacho filled pitcher or bowl on top.

If you’d like a simpler version, combine all the chopped ingredients except the sour cream and croutons with the pureed mixture before chilling. Simply pour the fully mixed gazpacho into individual bowls and top with a dollop of sour cream and croutons.

*Roasted red pepper – you can purchased jarred roasted red pepper if you like. Or, instead, I will usually wrap a medium size red pepper in heavy duty aluminum foil and place it directly over an open flame on my range for about 30 minutes, turing it every 5-6 minutes. Then, I’ll let it rest off the heat to steam for another 30 minutes before removing the skin, seeds and stem, and then slicing it for use.[/fusion_text][youtube id=”https://youtu.be/0zkp4c7Cg5E” width=”600″ height=”350″ autoplay=”no” api_params=”” class=””][/youtube]