I have been fascinated by the idea of a cold soup for a while, however every time the mercury rises I loose my appetite completely and a mare thought of a soup (cold or hot for that matter) makes me ..... let just say not very happy.
Yesterday was not too hot and after overeating during my trip to Toronto I decided to cook something fast, simple, and light. I browsed several recipe sites to get an idea of what I can put in my gazpacho. I have to admit that I have never had gazpacho before. Probably there are rules and regulations on what you can put and what you can not but I just went with my appetite and taste to make this:
6 medium-size tomatoes
1 red bell pepper
2 small cucumbers (they are sold here as Lebanese). If you don't have small cucumbers use the regular ones
2 garlic cloves
2 purple shallots (I know those are rare to find. Do not hesitate to use either purple onion (1/2 or even 1/4 should be enough) or regular shallots)
1 tsp of ground cumin
1 ripe avocado
3 cups of vegetable juice (I used V8)
1 tsp sherry vinegar (you can use lemon juice instead or even white balsamic vinegar)
5-7 springs of cilantro
Pinch of sugar
Salt and pepper
Peel tomatoes. To do so, make an x-shaped cut on the bottom of each tomato. Put them in a sauce-pan and cover with boiling hot water. Wait for 2-3 minutes. You will notice that the skin next to the cut is peeling off and all you have to do is remove tomatoes (careful not to burn yourself) and peel off the rest of the skin.
Coarsely chop the pepper, cucumbers, onions, and garlic. Combine them with tomatoes in a big soup pot.
Using hand-held blender, blend vegetables until smooth. You can also use a regular blender for this purpose.
Add cumin, vinegar, sugar, cilantro, and avocado. Blend until smooth.
Add V8. I would recommend adding it slowly and mixing throughout to give the soup required consistency. Also try the soup to adjust for seasoning.
Feel free to experiment with different herbs and spices. You might want to check out this website for some unsual Gazpachos, such as Oriental or White Gazpachos.
P.S. The picture of purple shallots comes from the Muffintop blog