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WS IG of gazpachoIt’s not the heat. It’s the humidity. That is soooo true, except when it’s wicked hot AND humid AND for days. Inspired by this month’s Williams-Sonoma catalog and Spanish flavors, gazpacho was not only necessary, but lifesaving. My local W-S hosts a weekly Instagram contest. If you like this photo, please like it here.

Math isn’t my thing, which is why I cook more than bake, but a trick I learned for quick and easy gazpacho is using three parts tomatoes and one part “other stuff.” Be creative with the “stuff” – cucumbers, peppers, onion,  zucchini, summer squash, etc.  I always add cilantro to brighten up the palette. Garnish is also key. After pouring gazpacho into serving bowls, season with salt and pepper, drizzle with EVOO, maybe a hint of balsamic, and top with diced veggies.

You don’t need to cook anything, but I chose to quickly pan-sear the tomatoes.

This is a rustic version of gazpacho; if you’d like, you can press the gazpacho through a sieve for a smooth, silky version of this soup.

Now, I called this a tapas, though traditionally tapas are finger foods served on small plates. I like to serve gazpacho in shooter glasses, so technically you’re just using your fingers.

What you need:

  • 1/3 c EVOO
  • 8 ripe tomatoes, cut into chunks
  • 1/2 lg English cucumber—peeled, halved and cut into chunks (reserve other half for garnish)
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into chunks
  • 1 sm zucchini, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1+ c vegetable broth
  • 2 tbs balsamic vinegar
  • Freshly ground sea salt and black pepper
  • Garnish (diced veggies, cilantro, etc)

What you do:

  • In lg stock pot, heat EVOO and add tomatoes.
  • Quickly pan sear and remove from heat.
  • Add cucumber, pepper, zucchini, garlic, broth and vinegar.
  • Using immersion blender, process until coarsely pureed.
  • Add additional broth until soup reaches desired consistency.
  • Season with salt and pepper.
  • Refrigerate until chilled.
  • Pour into serving dishes and top with garnish.