Making gazpacho is like a summer ritual. Gazpacho is a Spanish tomato-based cold soup that is refreshing and bursting with the flavours of summer. If you’ve never tried it make it a weekend project. Visit a Farmer’s Market, buy the fresh produce and plan to spend some time chopping.
This soup requires a bit of chopping (okay, it’s A LOT of chopping). So that’s why it’s a good ‘project’. But you don’t need an oven or a stove so on a sweltering hot summer day, when the temperature in the kitchen is the same as the temperature outside, it’s a good recipe to be making.
My friend lives on a farm just outside the city and I chose this dish to take to our annual farm-to-table event for our Dinner Club night. It was a spectacular summer evening, the table was set on the grass surrounded by beautiful gardens and we were invited to go barefoot. With views of fields dotted with hay bales, the rolling foothills of the Rocky Mountains and the majestic peaks in the distance this was once again a spectacular night.
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In the Spirit of Farm-To-Table
The reality is that most of us don’t live on a farm and we conveniently buy produce at a grocery store. This is the time of year to pause for a moment and think about that. Read the labels, see what you can buy from closer to home and think about who you want to support with your grocery dollars.
My friends farm-to-table dinner was spectacular but it’s always a good idea to lower the bar. Don’t miss the point. Have a dinner with family or friends in the spirit of farm to table with fresh produce wherever it came from. Make it simple, eat outdoors if you can and celebrate the bounty of season.
Get The Tools
You don’t need many tools to make cold soup but I love the challenge of creating a gourmet presentation. I served my Farm to Table Gazpacho in Mason jars and laid the garnish on top. Using ingredients in the soup and fresh herbs from my garden was easy. I don’t make cucumber ribbons every day of the week but it wasn’t hard using a vegetable peeler and I added a small thyme blossom and cherry tomato. I was happy with the result.
Did you attend or host a farm-to-table dinner or are you planning one? Let me know about it in the comments below.
Farm-To-Table Dinner Club Menu
|1½ lbs tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped|
|1 cup finely chopped cucumber|
|½ cup finely chopped red onion|
|½ cup finely chopped red pepper|
|1 jalapeno, seeded and minced|
|1 garlic clove, minced|
|¼ cup extra virgin olive oil|
|juice of 1 lime|
|2 tsp balsamic vinegar|
|2 tsp GF Worcestershire sauce|
|½ tsp toasted, ground cumin|
|1 tsp salt|
|¼ tsp pepper|
|bottled tomato juice for a total of 1 cup of juice from the tomatoes|
|GARNISH –basil leaf, cucumber ribbon, cherry tomatoes, fresh thyme|
- Bring water to a boil in a deep saucepan. Fill a bowl with cold water.
- Use a knife to cut an X in the bottom of each tomato. Gently dip the tomatoes, 1 or 2 at a time, into the boiling water for 15 seconds. Remove with a slotted spoon and place into the bowl of cold water just long enough to handle them. Peel the skin off the tomatoes.
- Place a strainer over a large measuring cup or bowl to catch the juice from the tomato seeds.
- Core tomatoes and cut in half or quarters. Using a spoon remove the seeds from the tomato pieces into the strainer. Continue until all the tomatoes are seeded. Extract as much juice from the tomatoes as possible by pushing the pulp with the back of a spoon.
- Discard seeds and measure juice. Add canned tomato juice to measure 1 cup total.
- Chop the tomatoes into fairly small pieces.
- In a large bowl combine chopped tomatoes, cucumber, onion, peppers, garlic, olive oil, lime juice, balsamic vinegar, Worcestershire, cumin, salt and pepper.
- Remove 2 cups of mixture and puree with a hand blender or food processor. Return puree to soup and stir to combine. Refrigerate for 4 hours. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed.
- Pour soup into jars. Serve cold.
- To garnish thread cherry tomato, cucumber ribbon, fresh basil and a piece of flowering thyme onto a wooden skewer. Place 1 skewer over top of each jar.