Shea Marie

gaz04webb

Souping is definitely one of my diet tricks. As long as you make them homemade (canned soups contain way too much sodium) soups are a great way to satisfy hunger out without loading up on unhealthy calories. Of course they’re great in the winter to stay warm, but Gazpacho- which is served cold is perfect for those summer months as well. I always make a large batch, then freeze in quart bags and keep in the freezer. Just pop the bag in cold water and it thaws in a matter of minutes.

What you will need:

4-5 roma tomatoes (you can use fresh summer tomatoes also)
1 cup Pom or San Marzano tomatoes (you might not need this if using homegrown tomatoes since they are so flavorful)
4 cups all natural tomato juice
1 large cucumber
2 stalks celery
2 zucchini
1/2 red onion
2-3 cloves garlic
2 peppers (whichever colors you prefer)
1/2 or 1 jalapeno pepper
cilantro
1-2 lemons
limes for garnish
olive oil
red or white wine vinegar
balsamic vinegar or champagne vinegar (for sweetness)
salt
cracked pepper

Garnish ideas:
chopped avocado
fresh corn (steamed then sliced from cob)
shrimp
crab
tortilla chips

gaz05web

gaz07web

First we’ll get our vegetables chopped and ready for the food processor. I do this by hand except for the onion and the garlic which I chop together with my handy little food chopper. Rinse all vegetables. Core peppers and remove seeds. Cut up all other vegetables. Rinse and chop cilantro and set aside.

gaz08web

gaz09web

Put the ingredients into the processor in batches. First I put in the onion and garlic and drizzle in some olive oil. Pulse this a bit and add some of the peppers and celery. You want to chop this and pulse so your vegetables will be a little chunky. I make some of the vegetables a little chunkier and some finer. Transfer to a large bowl. Now add some of the cucumber and zucchini and pulse again. Add some more olive oil at this time. I use about 1/4 cup of olive oil total. I put 3 batches of vegetables through the processor.

gaz12web

Next put the fresh tomatoes in the processor and pulse, then add a cup or so of the canned tomatoes and pulse again until you have the consistency that you like.

gaz11web

Add the tomatoes to the bowl and add the tomato juice. Put in 2 cups and check the consistency. I had quite a lot of vegetables so I needed to use all of the tomato juice, so if needed add the rest. It all depends on how thick you prefer your gazpacho to be. You can add more juice if needed or even some water. Next add the seasonings. This is were it’s up to you to taste. Gazpacho it all about how you like it, from the consistency to the seasonings. I’m a big taster when cooking so sometimes I don’t know exactly how much seasoning I put in. Squeeze in some lemon juice. For the vinegar I added about 1 T or so of white wine and 1 T of balsamic. You can add up to 1/8 of a cup. I don’t like too much vinegar and if you use red or white only you can add a little sugar. Using balsamic will give some sweetness. The last thing I add is the salt and pepper. Just keep tasting till you have it to your liking. Add some chopped cilantro and your done. Put in the fridge to chill. This tastes so amazing the next day when the flavors have had time to develop.

This makes about 8 servings or more depending on serving size. It’s wonderful to serve at a luncheon or dinner and looks so pretty in a punch bowl with a ladle and cups.You can garnish this in so many ways. The day after I made this I came home after a long day and was starving. I had a leftover corn in the fridge so I added that and some black beans, avocado, and crumbled tortilla chips on top. So good! This will keep 3-4 days in the fridge. To freeze put about 1 cup in a ziplock freezer bag, stack and lay flat in the freezer until frozen.

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