Wednesday, June 27, 2012


Gazpacho is the quintessential (that's my new word for today!) summer meal.  
Cool and refreshing and my favorite lunch.  
Adding beef stock to a cold soup sounds weird but it cuts the tomato-y-ness and adds a really nice richness.  Be careful when your buying stock since a lot of them have gluten.  I use Kitchen Basics. Their stocks taste awesome, even the unsalted ones and they are super good about allergen labeling.  I also use Better Than Bouillon Beef Base or for vegetarians, the No Beef Base.  (They used to have a gluten free list on their website but they took that down although they are good about noting gluten in the list of ingredients.  Always read labels!) 
Garden fresh tomatoes are the tastiest but they aren't ripe yet, so I used canned diced tomatoes which also cuts the prep time in half. 
  • 4 cups peeled, seeded and chopped tomatoes or 2 cans diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup V-8 vegetable juice
  • 1 cup beef stock (I like Kitchen Basics) (*see note for vegetarian option)
  • 1 medium cucumber, seeded and chopped
  • 1 medium bell pepper, chopped (I used half red and half green, although yellow adds nice color)
  • 1 small jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely diced
  • 1 small onion, minced (I like red)
  • 1/2 rib celery, finely diced (optional but I like the crunch)
  • 2 green onions, sliced
  • 1 small garlic clove, minced
  • 2 tablespoons snipped fresh basil or 1 teaspoon dried, crushed basil
  • 1 tablespoon good olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • salt and hot sauce to taste (I use a generous pinch of salt and a few drops of Frank's Hot Sauce)
*  To make this vegetarian, substitute 1 teaspoon Better Than Bouillon, No Beef Base and 1 cup of water or 1 cup of veggie stock for the beef broth.
 Combine all ingredients in a bowl.  Taste and adjust seasonings, adding salt and hot sauce to taste. Cover and chill at least 2 hours or over night.

Makes 6-8 side dish servings or 4 light lunches.

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