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Relax, It's Just Gazpacho

Make the most of late-summer produce by blending tomatoes, cucumber and more into this easy-to-master, chilled summer soup.

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Photo: Sarah E Crowder ©

Summer in a Bowl

If you want to taste the season's freshest flavors, then look no further than this chilled summer soup. It's not exactly a culinary challenge, either. Just chop up the best of summer's produce in a food processor, if you have one. Or, grab a knife and a cutting board (and maybe a friend) and get to chopping. Tomatoes are the traditional star, accompanied by cucumbers, something from the onion family and some herbs. Add something acidic, most often vinegar (sherry vinegar in particular), and some olive oil for smoothness, and you are in business. And maybe throw in some peppers — sweet and hot together, for good measure.


Photography by Sarah Crowder

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Photo: Sarah E Crowder ©

The Vegetables

As with any traditional dish, there is discussion over competing preparation methods. For instance: Should you add tomato juice or water, or simply let the juices of the tomatoes and vegetables pull the soup together? There is discussion about how smooth or chunky gazpacho should be; whether or not you should add stale bread; whether almonds should be included and whether to use a blender or a food processor, or chop by hand. If you're a beginner, stick to this basic vegetable template, then layer on your own opinions.

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Photo: Sarah E Crowder ©

The Chop

For the best results, cut the vegetables into small chunks, then chop the vegetables in the food processor in batches to control how finely they get chopped (and to prevent them from turning into a puree). Then they all get combined, so it's not critical which ones get chopped with which.

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Photo: Sarah E Crowder ©

The Aromatics

You can use garlic, shallots, any kind of onion, even scallions or leeks. For your first batch, stick to the basics by using a combination of red onions and shallots.

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