One of the wonderful things about DC in the summer is the abundance of farmers markets. You could probably find one every day of the week if you tried—Dupont Circle, Adams Morgan, Mount Pleasant, etc. The locally grown summer produce is phenomenal! My mouth waters just thinking about biting into a sweet, juicy heirloom tomato or a crisp, refreshing cucumber…
The other day, a dear friend of mine, Babar, spontaneously called me and invited me over to cook dinner with him. He had just gone to his local farmers market and was inspired by a sign next to the heirloom tomatoes that read “Great for Gazpacho.” Having never made gazpacho before, he decided it was something he wanted to conquer, and fortunately for this girl, he wanted me to partake (I had never made gazpacho before either).
We used Ina Garten’s recipe found on foodnetwork.com, with a few modifications. And, with all due respect for the Barefoot Contessa, I think we may have improved on her recipe by subbing in heirloom tomatoes for the plum tomatoes she calls for. Made from fresh farmers market produce, our gazpacho was the absolute ultimate! (That was a super random reference to one of my favorite summertime films, Gidget, which you should probably watch if you haven’t already.)
- 1 hothouse cucumber, halved and seeded, but not peeled (We did not seed our cucumbers…just chopped them up.)
- 2 red bell peppers, cored and seeded (We used green and yellow bell peppers.)
- 4 plum tomatoes (We used heirloom tomatoes—a brilliant substitution. I would say 1 heirloom tomato = 2 plum tomatoes.)
- 1 red onion
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 3 cups tomato juice
- ¼ cup white wine vinegar (We did not have white wine vinegar, so we used red wine vinegar instead.)
- ¼ cup good olive oil
- ½ tablespoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- (We doubled the recipe and added 3 jalapeno peppers, removing the seeds.)
Roughly chop the cucumbers, bell peppers, tomatoes, and red onions into 1-inch cubes.
Put each vegetable separately into a food processor fitted with a steel blade and pulse until it is coarsely chopped. Do not overprocess!
After each vegetable is processed, combine them in a large bowl and add the garlic, tomato juice, vinegar, olive oil, salt, and pepper.
Mix well and chill before serving. The longer the gazpacho sits, the more the flavors develop.
On the printout of the recipe we were using, someone had written a note that lime was a nice garnish for the soup. It seemed like it would be, so we cut up some lime to drizzle over the gazpacho—mind blown! Thank you Babar for introducing me to the world of farm fresh gazpacho. Who knew it was so easy to make (no actual cooking involved) and so delightful to eat?!