I hated gazpacho as a kid. Mostly because I hate tomato juice. It's disgusting. However, when I was 13 or 14 or something, I realized that gazpacho is more salad than drink. Now I love it. (I still hate all varieties of tomato juice... even if you add vodka.) Personally, I think gazpacho is the perfect summer side or starter. It is cool, refreshing, super easy, and abnormally healthy. A great compliment to grilled meat or seafood, or as an easy supper with pasta salad.
1/4 of a large bell pepper + 2 Tbsp diced
1/4 of medium red onion +1 Tbsp diced
4 inch length of English cucumber + 2 inches diced
1 tsp minced garlic
~2.5 C high quality tomato juice
juice of 1/2 a large lime or lemon
2 Tbsp chopped cilantro or parsley
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Roughly chop the quarter of bell pepper (red, yellow or orange) and onion, and 4 in of cucumber. Place in blender with garlic and a dash of hot sauce. Add tomato juice to 2 C mark on blender. Puree. Add more juice to 3 C mark, blend. Add hot sauce your taste. Refrigerate until service.
(Tomato juice tends to have quite a bit of salt, so you will probably not need to add any. But if you find a low sodium or no salt added, add salt to taste.)
Toss the diced pepper, onion, and cucumber with citrus juice, herbs, and olive oil. Divide between bowls at service. (If you really like the chunky texture of the fresh veggies, which I do, just cut up more. However much you want. This is just a guideline that will give you good contrast and crunch to this fresh soup.)
Serves 4 starter size portions or 2 main portions
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