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Five Minute Gazpacho Soup

Gazpacho (Spanish liquid tomato salad).Image via Wikipedia

One of my favorite summertime meals is a deliciously chilled gazpacho soup, which originated in Spain, and in its most familiar incarnation is a tomato-based soup filled with a tantalizing assortment of chopped fresh vegetables. Everything about this dish says 'summer' from the wonderful crunch of the of the veggies to the cold soup that is wonderfully refreshing on a hot summer day. I like to make enough to keep in a Tupperware container in the fridge, just what I need for a quick lunch or a pick-me-up after work...it's the perfect antidote to the heat exhaustion that you get at the end of a hot and humid Florida day. One mug of this terrific cold soup and you're ready to go!



Best of all, it can be assembled in literally five minutes using ingredients found in the pantry and vegetable drawer.


My chopped vegetables included the familiar assortment found in gazpacho, including: cucumber, green onions, green bell pepper, a Spanish onion, and garlic.




I like my gazpacho soup to be crunchy, which is good, since my knife skills resemble those of a first grader with a really big crayon. But you get the point, chop the vegetables into a fine, or not so fine dice. You can use a food processor if you want to reduce the prep time...in which case this would be called 'Three Minute Gazpacho Soup'.

Which brings me to a variation of this soup. For those who prefer a smoother soup, use your food processor to combine all the ingredients and process until the vegetables become one with the tomato base. That's what's great about this soup, it easily lends itself to your personal creative or culinary point of view.




For this five minute recipe, I'm using V-8 vegetable juice as my base, as well as canned diced tomatoes to add texture and additional tomato-ey goodness. I begin by first adding the diced tomatoes to the chopped vegetables (in the end, I used two 14 oz. cans to maximize the texture).

Then I pour the V-8 juice just to cover the vegetables, which makes the soup more of a vegetable stew. This is another area of subjectivity, if you prefer more broth, simply add more juice.



To bring out the fresh flavor of the tomatoes and veggies, I'll finish the dish with a liberal dash or two of hot sauce and the juice from half of a lime. You'll be impressed by how much these two ingredients 'brighten' the taste of the vegetables.

Finally, I like to refrigerate the soup overnight so that the flavors have time to meld and become a greater sum of the whole. In other words, the soup simply tastes better the next day!



Ladle this soup into a pretty bowl and top with a few drops of extra virgin olive oil or a dollop of sour cream. I prefer olive oil.

Give this a try, the next time you need a quick lunch, or dinner starter. Because it travels so well, it's also a great dish for picnics at the beach, or cookouts at the neighbors. Just pour the soup into a wide-mouthed thermos to keep it chilled and you're good to go! And it tastes so good, your children will never figure out that they're actually eating something nutritious!

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Comments

JCK said…
I LOVE gazpacho soup! Thanks for the reminder. I sure could go for some today. It's 109 here....crazy.
Larramie said…
Does the gazpacho soup deceive me or do you have the Blue Danube china pattern too?!
Suzanne said…
JCK - it's just perfect for hot days like today!

Larramie - You are so perceptive....I do believe that is Blue Danube.
Larramie said…
Thought so. ;) It's something one doesn't tire of.

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