A healthy, vegetarian cold soup that is a meal in itself and easy to make

Gazpacho (gahs-PAH-cho) is a Spanish summer cold soup, traditionally made in a Waring blender and cooked in the refrigerator. There was gazpacho before the blender and refrigerator, but they make it quickly and easily. It goes well with paella for a Sunday dinner. Gazpacho is traditionally made with stale bread, but I like it with vegetables only. Add bread if you like.

Chop up the following, filling the blender layer by layer: Roma tomatoes, (peeled) cucumber, onion, garlic and green pepper. Add some olive oil and red wine vinegar, and season with salt. Amounts are not critical; use more of what you like, but tomatoes should dominate. Start the blender on low speed and watch the layers disappear in the rising pink puree. Then blend at higher speed for a while to your taste. It is all right chopped coarse, and okay fine. The natural flavor of the vegetables does not require spices, incidentally. It will be naturally thick even without the bread.

Pour into a bowl, cover, and refrigerate thoroughly, until it is quite cold. Gazpacho improves with age (within reason). Serve either plain or garnished with croutons, chopped cucumber and tomato, cilantro, and so forth. Only Arnold Rimmer ever demanded his gazpacho hot. Gazpachuelo is a hot scrambled egg soup with vinegar or lemon juice, no relation.

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Composed by J. B. Calvert
Created 27 June 2002
Last revised