I love the summer. The sun is warm and the vegetables are fresh (and cheap!). I’ve been waiting for the produce market to be flooded with all of the summer goods so that I could take a stab at making some gazpacho. This soup turned out so delicious and refreshing that I want to eat it for almost every meal. Not only that but gazpacho is pretty much just a bunch of raw vegetables pureed together… it doesn’t get healthier than that! Imagine salsa turned into a soup, mixed with the fresh dewy flavor of cucumbers. It’s kinda like that. Oh, plus some nice creamy chunks of avocado to balance the acidity of the tomatoes. Heaven! I like to serve this with a big wedge of crusty bread spread with butter. It would also be great with a nice grilled cheese sandwich.
A note on ingredient choice: I used minced garlic from the jar here only because I find that it doesn’t leave you with dragon breath like fresh garlic can. If you don’t mind dragon breath, using two cloves in place of the minced will be much less expensive. Also, I found tomatillos for only $0.99 cents per pound at the produce market so I bought two and threw them in there. Those are optional and to be honest, I couldn’t taste them. Usually gazpacho has bell peppers too but they are outrageously expensive right now ($3.99/lb. what?!). Maybe later this summer. Traditionally gazpacho is made with fresh tomatoes but I used canned tomatoes and vegetable juice for convenience and to add body to the flavor.
- 1 (28 oz.) can crushed tomatoes $0.94
- 2 cups V8 juice (spicy or regular) $0.92
- 1 small yellow onion $0.12
- 1 large cucumber $0.50
- 2 small tomatillos (optional) $0.49
- ¼ bunch parsley $0.17
- ¼ bunch cilantro $0.13
- 1 Tbsp (or 2 cloves) minced garlic $0.25
- 1 Tbsp olive oil $0.12
- 1 tsp salt $0.05
- to taste pepper $0.05
- 1 medium lemon or lime, juiced $0.25
- 1 medium avocado $0.79
- Wash, seed and finely dice the cucumber, jalapeno, tomatillo and yellow onion. Split the chopped veggies into two bowls. Half will be pureed with the other soup ingredients and the other half will be added at the end for texture.
- In a blender combine the crushed tomatoes, half of the chopped veggies, the minced garlic, parsley, cilantro, olive oil, lemon, salt, pepper and half of the V8. If all of the V8 will fit in your blender, go ahead and add all of it but don’t let the liquid exceed ¾ of the blender’s volume. Puree these ingredients on a fairly low setting until almost smooth (see photo below). Taste and adjust the salt and pepper to your liking.
- Pour the contents of the blender into a bowl and stir in the remaining chopped veggies and remaining V8 juice. Dice the avocado and either sprinkle on just before serving or stir into the soup. If you stir it in, the acid from the tomatoes and lemon will keep it from browning. Let the soup chill for at least 30 minutes to blend the flavors. Serve cold!
Step By Step Photos
Chop the veggies (onion, jalapeno, cucumber, tomatillo) and separate into two bowls, half for the blender and half to stir in at the end. If you are using bell peppers, dice them with these veggies.
Add the canned tomatoes, half of the chopped veggies, garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, cilantro, parsley, salt and pepper to the blender. Add either half or all of the V8 depending on what will fit. You don’t want the liquid to be more than 3/4 to the top of your blender otherwise you’ll have a disaster.
On a fairly low setting, blend the ingredients until almost smooth. I like to still be able to see bits of the herbs. Some vegetable chunks are okay too. Pour all of this into a bowl, add the rest of the vegetables, the avocado and V8. Chill for at least 30 minutes before serving!
If you don’t like cilantro or don’t want to buy two bunches of herbs just to use 1/4 of each, you can either use all parsley or all cilantro. I usually keep a bunch of both on hand anyway so I used both.
If you don’t want to use lemon or lime juice or you feel your gazpacho needs more zing, you can add some vinegar. Balsamic gives the soup an interesting sweetness while apple cider vinegar is more subtle. Use 1 Tbsp of vinegar in place of the lemon or lime to start. Taste and then add more if desired.
Use your left over V8 to make some Bloody Marys for brunch this weekend… Brunch that you’ll be cooking, of course!