Most school-aged children pack sandwiches in their lunch boxes; but not this kid. During the spring months, Mom would pack a plastic container full of gazpacho. Strange, I know. But believe it or not, those were some of my absolute favorite lunch days (besides the chicken nugget days, of course).
My love for gazpacho started at a very early age (and still holds true). I wish I could remember back to elementary school, trying to convince my classmates that my cold tomato soup was light-years better than their PB&J's. I honestly believed gazpacho was a refrigerator staple in all households.
Originating in the southern region of Spain, I recently learned that gazpacho was popular with field hands because it was a way to cool off during the hot summer months. It was often called a "Liquid Salad." Growing up in Georgia, Mom would start making gazpacho as early as March since, often times, it was already hot and humid.
It seems like everyone makes a slightly different version of gazpacho, so the textures and flavors can vary from chef to chef. Mom was kind enough to share our wonderful family tradition. Hope your gazpacho experience is as great as mine. Cheers!
- 4 ripe tomatoes peeled and chopped (I do this by dipping them in boiling water for several seconds)
- 1 (32-ounce) bottle tomato juice
- 2 cups coarsely chopped peeled cucumber (around 2 medium)
- 1 1/2 cups chopped green bell pepper (around one large green pepper)
- 1 1/4 cups finely chopped Vidalia or other sweet onion (around one large onion)
- 1/3 cup of red wine vinegar
- 1/4 cup olive oil or less
- 1/4-1/2 tsp Worcheshire Sauce
- Tabasco to taste
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
In a food processor, puree half the above vegetables and about 1-2 cups of the tomato juice. Transfer to a large bowl, then add the rest of the chopped veggies and tomato juice.
Add 1/3 cup of red wine vinegar, 1/4 cup oil or less, Worcheshire Sauce, salt and pepper to taste and Tabasco Sauce to liking. Mix well (I whisk it a little to mix the oil and vinegar) and chill for one to two hours before serving.
This goes great with some homemade croutons, and/or shrimp and a dollop of sour cream. Enjoy!
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