What to do with the bumper crop of summer tomatoes? This gazpacho recipe uses only fresh tomatoes, instead of the bought-in tomato juiced called for in most gazpacho recipes. It's an adaptation of Cook's Illustrated Recipe for Creamy Gazpacho Andaluz, but without the bread and with less oil.
Makes 8-12 servings
5-6 pounds tomatoes - cored
1 large or 2 small cucumbers - peeled, halved lengthwise, and seeded
2 green bell peppers, or 1 green and 1 red, yellow or orange - stemmed, halved, and seeded
1 large red onion - peeled and halved
4 garlic cloves - peeled and quartered
1 large serrano chile - stemmed and halved lengthwise
1/4 cup good olive oil
1/4 cup sherry vinegar
Kosher salt and pepper
(optional) 1/4 cup parsley, chives, or basil - minced
Make the pureed soup:
1. Coarsely chop half the tomatoes, half the cucumber, half the bell pepper, and half the onion. Place in large bowl. Add all the garlic and chile, plus 1 TBSP salt. Toss to combine.
2. To puree the vegetables with olive oil, use either a blender or food processor and work in batches. For each batch, puree the vegetables and add the oil in a slow drizzle. Blend until very smooth, about 2 minutes, then transfer to a bowl and complete the remainiing batches.
3. (Optional) If you want to be really fancy, you can strain the soup at this point. Put the pureed soup into a fine-mesh sieve and press it through with a ladle or spatula. Discard the solids.
Add chopped vegetables for texture:
4. Chop remaining tomatoes, cucumber, and bell pepper into a 1/4-inch dice. Place in medium bowl. Mince the remaining onion and add. Add the diced vegetables to the pureed soup. (Note: for extra fanciness, set aside 1/2 of the diced veg. to add to each bowl at serving time.)
5. Stir the vinegar, 1 tsp. of salt, and optional herbs into the soup. Add pepper, additional salt, and additional vinegar to taste. (If the soup still needs a little brightness, add a bit of red wine vinegar instead of sherry vinegar). You can also add a little Tabasco for extra heat.
Give it time to marry (2-12 hours):
6. Cover and refrigerate overnight or for at least two hours. Serve and enjoy!