To me, Gazpacho is like eating fresh salsa.  Sure you can puree it, but I like chopping the fresh vegies and putting them in a marinade and then adding the tomato base, etc.  I got this recipe years ago from Cooks Illustrated and just love it.  You can spice it up with the Chipotle Chilies or you can leave them out and add some Tabasco sauce…totally up to you!!

INGREDIENTS: and this feed 8-10 people!! Great leftover!

  • 3 ripe medium beefsteak tomatoes (about 1 1/2 pounds), cored and cut into 1/4-inch cubes (about 4 cups)
  •  2 medium red bell peppers (about 1 pound), cored, seeded, and cut into 1/4-inch cubes. (about 2 cups)
  • 2 small cucumbers (about 1 pound), one peeled and the other with skin on, both seeded and cut into 1/4-inch cubes (about 2 cups)
  • 1/2 small sweet onion (such as Vidalia, Maui, or Walla Walla) or 2 large shallots, peeled and minced (about 1/2 cup)
  • 2 medium cloves garlic, minced or pressed through a garlic press (about 2 teaspoons)
  • 2 teaspoons table salt
  • 1/3 cup sherry vinegar
  • Ground black pepper
  • 5 cups tomato juice
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons minced chipotle chiles in adobo (start with a little and then add to it…depends on how spicy you like it)
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro leaves
  • 6 tablespoons lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
  • 8 ice cubes
  • Extra-virgin olive oil for serving

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. 1. Combine the tomatoes, bell peppers, cucumbers, onions, garlic, salt, vinegar, and pepper in a large (at least 4-quart) nonreactive bowl. Let stand until the vegetables just begin to release their juices, about 5 minutes. Stir in the tomato juice, chipotle chiles, cilantro, lime juice, lemon zest, and ice cubes. Cover tightly and refrigerate to blend flavors, at least 4 hours and up to 2 days.
  2. 2. Adjust the seasonings with salt and pepper and remove and discard any unmelted ice cubes. Serve cold, drizzling each portion with about 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil and topping with the desired garnishes

WHY THIS RECIPE WORKS:

For the best gazpacho recipe, with clearly flavored, distinct vegetables in a bracing tomato broth, we chopped the vegetables by hand, tossed them in a sherry vinegar marinade, used a fresh-flavored tomato juice, and chilled our soup for a minimum of four hours.

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