Ever feel the urge to cool off on a sweltering summer day with a bowl of hot tomato soup? Apparently the Spaniards didn’t, either, which is why they created gazpacho to fend off the oppressive heat of August in Andalusia. Beyond beating the heat, gazpacho is also best in August and September because tomatoes are at their peak in late summer when they’re sweet and ripe and cheap. Gazpacho is a garden in a bowl, which means it’s better for you than plain, one-dimensional tomato soup.
Makes 4 to 6 servings
2 cups chopped tomatoes
1 red or green bell pepper, chopped
1 medium red onion, diced
1 cup diced English cucumber
11/2 cups low-sodium V8 or other tomato juice
Juice of 1 lemon
2 Tbsp olive oil, plus more for serving
1 Tbsp white or red wine vinegar
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tsp salt
7 g fat (1 g saturated)
650 mg sodium
How to Make It
Combine the tomatoes, bell pepper, onion, and cucumber in a large mixing bowl and mix well. Transfer one-fourth of the mixture to a small bowl, cover, and refrigerate. Add the tomato juice, lemon juice, olive oil, vinegar, garlic, and salt to the vegetables in the large bowl and mix to combine. If you have the time, it’s best at this point to allow the ingredients to mingle in the fridge for an hour or two—or even overnight. (If not, simply proceed with the recipe.)
Working in batches if necessary, add the tomato juice mixture to a blender and puree, stopping just short of creating a smooth soup (a bit of texture here is nice). If you didn’t refrigerate before, place the gazpacho in the fridge for 20 or 30 minutes to cool down.
When ready to serve, divide the gazpacho among 4 or 6 bowls. Chop the reserved vegetables on a cutting board until you have a rough salsa. Garnish each bowl with a bit of the reserved vegetables and a drizzle of olive oil.
Note: English cucumbers are great because there is no need to peel or seed them. If you use more common hothouse cucumbers, be sure to remove both.