If you have been to a local farmers market, you can't miss the gorgeous tomatoes in season right now. Going home with a bag full of juicy, red tomatoes is a given, but what to do with them?
You could start simply by slicing the tomatoes and layering them with fresh mozzarella cheese slices. Top with a drizzle of olive oil and a chiffonade of fresh basil to create a simple caprese salad. I know some who prefer to keep things even simpler by slicing and adding nothing more than a sprinkle of salt before serving.
My family looks forward to fresh tomatoes every summer so that we can enjoy batch after batch of gazpacho. This simple soup that originates from Spain consists of a variety of fresh vegetables and spices. It is served cold, and the combination of the refrigerator chill and the heat of the spices is so refreshing during the warm days of summer.
Gazpacho is a perfect vehicle for enjoying the fresh produce of summer. Since the vegetables are not cooked, they maintain all of their nutrients and health benefits.
So, next time you are out shopping at the farmers market, pick up some fresh tomatoes. In no time at all you'll have a refreshing soup to enjoy!
- 1 clove garlic
- 3 large tomatoes, peeled and cut into large chunks
- 1/2 medium onion cut into large chunks
- 1 green bell pepper, seeded and cut into large chunks
- 1 kirby cucumber, peeled and cut into large pieces (these are the pickling cucumbers)
- 1 small can of mushrooms, drained
- 1 jar pimientos
- 3 lemons, juiced
- 1 1/2 tablespoons vinegar
- 1 teaspoon seasoning salt
- 1/2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder (or more to taste)
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 large bottle tomato juice (low-sodium V-8 also works well)
- 3 drops hot sauce
- Chop all vegetables in several batches in a food processor. Use the pulse mode to avoid pureeing them, chunky bits are ideal in this soup.
- Put all vegetables into a large plastic bowl, then add the remaining ingredients. Pour the tomatoe juice in to fill, you may not use the entire bottle.
- Cover and refrigerate for at least four hours; overnight is preferred. The flavors will marry and become more pronounced the longer the soup is allowed to chill.
- Serve with diced cucumber on top.