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Gazpacho

A Twist on Soup Night

Camille Parker, Senior Writer, Denver

July 25, 2018

When I was a child, a friend’s mother was fond of making soups. All kinds of soups: hearty, light, tangy, salty, full of vegetables, full of meat. Always full of flavor. That’s what I remember most. She experimented because that’s what a good cook does. Plays with the food until it is just the way they imagined it would be.

Then came the day that she made Gazpacho. She explained what it was before we tried it. Tried is the operative word here. I had no reason to think that Gazpacho would be anything less than amazing based on the many other recipes I’d had at her house.

I was wrong. So very wrong. It wasn’t amazing. I could lie and say that I ate it like a lady – the way my mom raised me to be. I could have said “Gosh, this is really good” while all the time I was choking it down.

It wasn’t good. Not by a long-shot. And it made me sad. Because I wanted to like it. Her Gazpacho was basically cold tomato soup – no flavor, no oomph. Nothing like what I’d imagined.

My sister moved to Texas for a few years. Upon her return to Colorado she asked me to her apartment for a treat. She said that she discovered this amazing cold soup in Texas called Gazpacho that I would just love. Hmm. Not so sure about this. But since I loved my sister, I gave it a try.

It was AMAZING!!! Full of flavor, and once I got over how much I liked eating soup cold, I was totally onboard with it. A bonus is how good it is for you.

So, here’s my sister’s Gazpacho. I’m not sure anymore where she got the recipe, but I have to say that I’ve made it at least once a summer every year for the last 22 years. It’s a keeper.

Summertime Gazpacho

Ingredients

4 c. fresh tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped, or

4 c. canned, diced tomatoes*

1 c. cucumber, peeled, seeded and chopped

½ c. chopped onion

1 garlic clove, crushed

1 ½ c. tomato juice (low-sodium)

1 tbsp. red wine vinegar

1 tbsp. lemon juice

2 tbsp. olive oil

10 pimento-stuffed Spanish olives, chopped

Picante sauce to taste

½ tsp. basil

½ tsp. tarragon

Salt and Tabasco to taste

Buttered croutons, avocado slices for garnish

Note: The soup will last longer refrigerated if using canned tomatoes.

Either chop the vegetables and mix all ingredients in a large bowl, or process them in a blender or food processor, or both, depending on the consistency you desire.

Serve with buttered croutons on top along with a couple of slices of avocado.

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