Gazpacho is on the menu for Barefoot Bloggers this week thanks to Meryl of My Bit of Earth. I've loved gazpacho ever since I was old enough to be willing to try it (willingness to try gazpacho, i.e. cold vegetable soup, might be as good of a demarcation line between childhood and adulthood as anything). Nowadays I find gazpacho to be like pizza -- I think even bad gazpacho is pretty good.
I'll never forgot a couple of summers ago when we were selling our first house. The whole house-selling process was a complete mystery to me. A couple of days after we put our house on the market, the doorbell rang. When I answered it, the husband of our real estate agent walked in carrying a huge Tupperware full of gazpacho for the agent walk-through. The fact that selling a house appeared to involve real estate agent spouses feeding gazpacho to other real estate agents did not help make the process any less mysterious for me. But we sold our house, so I guess it worked.
Much as I like gazpacho, I've never made it before. Well, I suppose that I did make white gazpacho a few weeks ago, but I've never made a traditional gazpacho like Ina's before. This is super fast to make if you use the food processor as Ina suggests that you do. Each vegetable gets processed separately and then thrown together in a huge bowl with tomato juice, vinegar, oil, garlic, salt and pepper. In the Barefoot Contessa cookbook, Ina suggests that you use Sacramento Tomato Juice for superior flavor. Well, some weeks I feel like running around town looking for things like Sacramento Tomato Juice, and some weeks I don't. This was a "don't" week, so I used Campbell's Tomato Juice, and the gazpacho tasted just fine to me.
Ina's recipe also calls for 1/2 cup oil (note: I made the full recipe in the book, which is double the version posted here on the Food Network website). While I love and trust Ina, I strongly suspected that I could get away with much less than 1/2 cup oil. I decided to start with 2T and go up from there if it needed it. It didn't - 2T was plenty in my opinion. Reducing the oil makes this a really light soup.
I was concentrating so hard on my planned oil reduction that I completely forgot the vinegar. Trust me, you definitely don't want to forget that. I think poor David thought that I was trying to kill him when he took the first bite of the soup without vinegar. Once I added the vinegar it was much better.
I really thought this soup was delicious, and I ate it every day for a week. A large container of this soup will be a fixture in my refrigerator this summer. Thanks for the great pick, Meryl!
3 months ago