As I stared at the giant pile of cherry tomatoes and tomatoes I would classify ‘too small’ for anything other than salads, I was like “what the heck am I going to do with these???” The answer came to me like a big fat slice of a beefsteak tomato — “make gazpacho!”
I have never made gazpacho in my life. In fact, up until the one that I tasted at Clink, I was pretty sure I had no desire to even TRY gazpacho. Cold soup just doesn’t appeal to me, and for some reason, I guess I was thinking that it would taste like cold tomato soup (which I hate). After my Clink epiphany though, I realized that this was something I needed to have again — so why not give it a shot myself?
I scoured my favorite recipe sites, looking for one that appealed… but none fit the bill 100% — so I decided to improvise and borrow bits and pieces from several dishes. This is what I came up with… and it was DAMN GOOD!!!
–Several pounds of (home or locally grown, preferably heirloom) tomatoes — peeled and chopped
(I didn’t measure the weight on mine, but I had probably 20 to 25 tomatoes that were the size of apricots)
–1/4 purple onion, chopped
1/2 English cucumber — seeded and chopped
2 stalks celery — chopped
1/4 cup torn fresh basil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
Salt & Pepper to taste (I have a heavy hand)
Into the food processor — all chopped ingredients, adding a little at a time — keeping the mixture’s consistency to your desire. I preferred pureed, so this took a bit of time to make sure all things were of equal smoothness. Add the vinegar and then add the oil slowly… as to thicken the soup. Add salt and pepper to taste. Mmmm… mmmm… good!
Note: The tomatoes I used were yellow. That combined with the green of the basil and the green of the cucumber skin (you can peel it if you want) made the soup a pretty unsavory color. However, the taste was so overwhelmingly delicious, that the it far outweighed the appearance.
Also, if you don’t know how to easily peel tomatoes, all you need to do is slice an “X” into the top of each fruit and then put them in boiling water for 30 seconds to a minute. Plunge them into cold water after — so they don’t keep cooking. Once cooled, the skin will slide right off (especially with the small tomatoes). I did NOT remove the seeds… I chucked everything in the processor as is.