I am beyond thrilled that Sherilee of SWEET TEA AND SUNSHINE is joining us today with a guest post:
Summer flavors in your soup bowl
Summer brings so many wonderful flavors to menus and meal planning. While this dish could be made in other seasons, the depth of flavor from garden-ripened tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers cannot be beat. Even if you’re not fortunate enough to have a garden patch to grown your own produce, it is so readily available during these warm months, it’s certainly worth experimenting with all the variations that a cool soup offers.
I have traditionally made gazpacho as a blended soup. But as we’ve been visiting this past week with my parents, and my mom always makes it as an unblended, chunky soup, that’s the way we went. It was fabulous! The weather was unseasonably warm for the Canadian Southern Gulf Islands, and this soup made for a wonderful no-heat meal–no ovens, no stovetop, just pour it into bowls and go. We included some wheat breadrolls, cheese and hummus, and ate it outside on the patio, savoring the summer evening.
Serves four as a meal, six as a side dish
1/2 cup peeled and diced cucumbers
1/2 cup finely diced white onion
3/4 cup finely diced red and green peppers
2 plum tomatoes, peeled and diced (no need to peel, in my humble opinion)
2 1/2 cups tomato juice
2 cloves minced garlic
1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
1/4 tsp Worcestershire sauce
2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
Chopped chives or scallion tops for garnish
Combine first nine ingredients and chill thoroughly. Garnish and serve.
*Puree first nine ingredients, chill thoroughly, garnish and serve.
*Add one cup fresh corn kernels, steamed and chilled
*Use spicy V8 instead of tomato juice
*Add one can of drained white beans
What? White beans? Who puts white beans into gazpacho? Apparently, we do, as well as plenty of other people. A quick Google search will show a number of options to include beans, either prior to blending, or after. But we felt completely unique in spontaneously adding them: My 15-year-old son eyed the large glass jar the soup was chilling in and asked, innocently enough, are there beans in there? I looked at my mom, she looked at me and we shrugged–why not? We drained and added a 15 oz. can of white kidney beans, and we loved it.
What are your favorite twists on gazpacho? Please share!