Our family belongs to a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) and for the most part, it's great. We get lots of fresh veggies and we support a local farmer -- Waterpenny Farm in Sperryville, VA. It's a win/win and you feel like a good little environmental steward. However, there is the occasional problem around 'what in the hell am I going to do with this many (fill in veggie of choice here)?!?' Because with a CSA, you get what is in season and right now, tomatoes are in peak season. We get at least 6 to 10 tomatoes each week of a different variety - red, round hybrid, pink heirlooms and yellow hybrids. It's A LOT of tomatoes to work with. And coming from me, that's a pretty bold statement since I grew up "Jersey Fresh" and could eat tomatoes sprinkled with salt as a snack every day.
Needless to say, I've got a lot of tomatoes that I need to do something with, so I decided to make gazpacho. Initially, I was not a fan of gazpacho from a purely theoretical stand point. Gazpacho is a cold soup and in my mind, soup is a item meant to be served hot (unless you are homeless and are eating out of can, then you take what you can get). But I abandoned my theoretical construct and embraced gazpacho in order to avoid rotten tomatoes.
For my first try (since I am a gazpacho virgin), I got my recipe from a blogger my friend recommended, The Pioneer Woman. I chose this recipe because it used a bunch of other veggies I had sitting around from my CSA share (zucchini, cucumber, garlic) -- two for one on that, choice is made!
The recipe is super easy, basically chopping up veggies, pureeing a bunch of them with tomato juice, mixing the chopped veggies with the pureed ones, and viola! Gazpacho. A few things to note that I found I had to adjust based on my preferences:
- My gazpacho came out a little too chunky in the end for my tastes, so I added more tomato juice and did a little more pureeing to adjust the veggie chunk to soup ratio
- Gazpacho is best served chilled (in my opinion) and to get it COLD, I throw my bowl in the freezer before I eat it. Then it tastes refreshing on a hot summer day.
Overall, the gazpacho was delicious, proving that soup doesn't have to be hot (are homeless people on to something here? hmmm.....) and like revenge, might be a dish best served cold. Thanks Pioneer Woman for a super simple, and fantastic, recipe! I will definitely eat what's on my plate. And I guess what's on my husband's plate too since he claims to not want to eat 'salsa in soup form.' Whatever, more for me!