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Heat-Wave Gazpacho

When the sun pounds down on your roof and just walking outside makes you dizzy with heat, whirl up a batch of Heat-Wave Gazpacho. This cold soup is a meal in a bowl, with a refreshing vinegar zing. Serve it as a first course for dinner, pack it in a thermos for lunch, dip into it after a swim—even have it for breakfast!

Heat-Wave Gazpacho thriftily uses the seeds, juice, and peels from the tomatoes and cucumbers and any bread crusts you have on hand. It's also low fat, nutritious, and filling. See the nutritional information below.

glass of organic gazpacho with swim gear

Active time: 20 minutes. Total time: 2 hours. Makes about 8 servings, 1 cup each. Vegan, vegetarian. Gluten-free if made with gluten-free bread.

Costs $1.16 a serving using organic ingredients.

1 1/4 pounds red or yellow tomatoes, about 2 large or 567 grams, cored and quartered but not seeded
1 cucumber, peeled only if bitter, cut into 3-inch chunks (see recipe tips and notes below)
2 red bell peppers or other sweet peppers, cored, quartered, and seeded
1/2 onion, peeled and quartered
1/2 jalapeño pepper, cored and seeded
1 clove garlic, peeled
2 tablespoons olive oil (leave out for an oil-free version)
1 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup water
1 slice Good Whisk Bread, Recipe Bread, or any whole-grain bread, torn into chunks
freshly ground black pepper to taste
optional toppings: chopped vegetables, peeled and chopped peaches, basil ribbons, chickpeas, or olives

gazpacho ingredients in a blender: tomatoes, cucumbers, bell pepper, and garlic

  1. Prepare vegetables, chopping a half-cup or so for toppings if you want. Set up a blender or a food processor fitted with the stainless steel blade. Put all ingredients except bread and toppings in the blender and process on high until smooth. Taste and adjust seasonings.
  2. Pour gazpacho into a large bowl or pitcher and refrigerate.
  3. Serve in bowls, topped with your choice of garnishes. Have a bowl right away if you like, but it's best chilled for two hours or more. Keeps for about 5 days refrigerated.

bowl of gazpacho with chopped vegetables on top

Recipe Notes and Tips

  • To test cucumbers for bitterness, cut a slice off each end and taste. Cukes are often bitter on only the stem end. Peel as much as needed to remove any bitter skin and top-level flesh without losing more nutrients than necessary. 
  • You can use green bell peppers for this, which I might do if they are cheaper. Unfortunately, the green bell peppers work with the green cucumber skin to turn the gazpacho brown. It still tastes red!
  • If you'd rather have chunkier gazpacho, reserve about half the vegetables, chop, and stir into the processed soup. You must have more energy during a heat wave than I do.

Nutrition Information (for 1 cup or 1/7th recipe)

Calories: 79. Percent of calories from fat: 45%, carbohydrates: 47%, protein: 8%.

Protein 2 grams (3% daily value), total fat: 4 grams (7%), cholesterol 0 grams, total carbohydrates 10 grams (3%), dietary fiber 2 gram (8%)

Calcium 18 mg (2%), iron 1 mg (6%), potassium 304 mg (9%), zinc trace (3%), Vitamin C 40 mg (67%), Vitamin A 697 IU (14%), Vitamin B6 0.2 mg (8%), Thiamin B1 0.1 mg (8%), Riboflavin B2 0.1 (4%), Folacin 29 mcg (7%)



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Reader Comments (3)

I made the gazpacho today with a bag of 2nd tomatoes from the farmer's market. I used 1/2 of a purple bell pepper, cider vinegar, and 1/2 a jalapeno. I used 2/3 cup frozen homemade whole wheat breadcrumbs for the bread.

It is absolutely wonderful. I'm going to top it with some homemade yogurt instead of sour cream.

I can't imagine anything better to do with a bounty of real summer tomatoes.

Jul 30, 2011 | Registered CommenterMelanie

I made a double batch this week, but I left out the cukes (because I forgot to buy them). It was NOT the same, so I bought some, pureed them, and stirred them in. Much improved.

Any thoughts on the best tomatoes for this? The slicing tomatoes tasted better than the plum, but that may have been my specific tomatoes.

Aug 11, 2011 | Registered CommenterMelanie

You're right about the cukes. Like celery, they don't seem important but they add a lot of flavor.

My favorite tomatoes are super-ripe, richly flavored tomatoes such as Cherokee Purples. German Johnsons are popular at my local markets, but don't have enough flavor for me.

Gazpacho is a great use for "scratch and dent" heirloom tomatoes.

Aug 12, 2011 | Registered CommenterLinda Watson
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