Native to the Iberian peninsula, and not usually associated with Louisiana's culinary heritage, gazpacho nevertheless turns up in local cookbooks, like Pirates Pantry (Quick Gazpacho Soup) and River Road Recipes (Cold Tomato Soup I & II). Not so surprising, given our Spanish colonial heritage.... and how well gazpacho hits the spot on a sweltering summer day. It's super delicious, very healthy, and a great way to use tomatofes when they're in season.
It's also about as easy as cooking gets--making gazpacho is mostly a matter of assembling, cleaning and rough chopping vegetables. A blender or food processor does most of the work, and time in the refrigerator takes care of the rest: the flavor of gazpacho improves during the first 12-24 hours of chilling, so definitely make it ahead of time. The procedures below call for chopping and adding the cucumbers just before service to keep them crisp; feel free to cut that corner if you'r so inclined.
Simple basic gazpacho
Large can V8 (32 oz - 4 cups)
1/2 bell pepper, roughly chopped
4 medium tomatoes, roughly chopped
1 rib celery, roughly chopped
4 green onions, tops and bottoms, roughly chopped
1 clove garlic, mashed
1 tablespoon wine vinegar
1-1/2 teaspoons Worchestershire
~1 teaspoon Tabasco or other hot sauce, adjusted to taste
salt and black pepper to taste
1 cucumber, seeded and diced just before service
Everybody into the blender of food processor, except the cucumber. Process vegetables until small, uniform pieces. Taste and adjust seasoning. Note that since it will be served cold, tastes need to be a bit stronger.
Let chill for several hours or over night.
Before serving, add cucumber.
Extra fancy & complicated gazpacho.
If you like your cold soup to make you sweat, add more cayenne or fresh hot pepper.
24 oz V8
1 6 oz can pineapple juice
4 fresh tomatoes, roughly chopped
1 medium yellow onion, roughly chopped
2-3 cloves garlic, mashed
2 bell peppers, any colors, roughly chopped
1 hot pepper, variety by taste, roughly .
1/4 cup chopped fresh herbs, basil, chives, flat leaf parsley
juice of 1 lime
juice of 1 orange
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon Cayenne
Salt and black pepper
1-2 cucumbers finely chopped, added before serving
1 12 oz can sparkling water (optional)
Use the same methodology as above, adding both the cucumbers and (optional) sparkling water.
Maybe cold soup doesn't float your boat, but you've still got all those tomatoes. Check our tomato recipes from years past: