I know that some parts of the U.S. are still waiting for their tomato abundance to arrive. Here in Southern California we’re swimming in them and its a beautiful feeling!
One of my favorite ways to enjoy the tomato bounty is gazpacho – the cold tomato soup made famous in the movie Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown. (If you haven’t seen it yet, rent it soon, the color palate alone with lift your spirits!) Gazpacho could just as easily been dubbed “Cold summer garden soup” since it seems like its everything from the garden when the tomatoes are at their peak.
This is one of those dishes where every woman has her own version; some prefer basil to cilantro or don’t add celery or do add bell pepper. It’s up to the cook! My version generally adheres to what I have below, with occasionally more spice in the form of a raw chile like a jalapeno or serrano, nothing too hot. But it is always delicious in a hot day when you’re not going to go near any oven devices!
Gazpacho with Heirloom Tomatoes
2 beefsteak tomatoes, cored and quartered
2 heirloom tomatoes (red are best), cored and quartered
1 1/2 stalks celery
1/2 cucumber, peeled and cut in chunks
1/2 red onion, cut in chunks
4 cloves garlic
1/2 cup olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/2 cup cilantro
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon hot sauce
Place all in blender and puree. Serve chilled.