I am a tomato freak, for garden fresh tomatoes that is. I crave this Gazpacho and make it several times during the summer. The recipe is a combination of one from my friend Sharon Hudgins, a noted food writer, and one from The Silver Palate Cookbook. Sharon adds garlic. Silver Palate adds dill. I also add an avacado. Make several hours or a day ahead. Recipe makes 8 to 10 portions.
6 ripe tomatoes
2 sweet red peppers, or one red and one green
1 large onion
2 large shallots
3 cloves of garlic
2 tablespoons of tomato paste
2 or more cups of tomato juice
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil
1 tablespooon of mild paprika
1/4 teaspoon cumin
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Dash of cayenne (optional depending on if you like your gazpacho firey)
Coarsely chop the tomatoes. Core, seed and coarsely chop peppers. Peel and coarsely chop onion and shallots. Peel, seed and coarsely chop cucumbers. Peel and cut avacado into sections. Put the garlic through a garlic press. Combine all in a large bowl.
Dissolve tomato paste in the tomato juice. Then whisk together vinegar, olive oil, tomato juice with paste, paprika and cumin.
Puree the vegetables in a food processor in batches, if necessary adding the liquid. Do not puree completely. Gazpacho should retain a crunch. Combine the pureed veggies with any leftover liquid. Season with salt, pepper , dill — and cayenne if desired. Cover and chill for at least 4 hours.
Sharon suggests serving with extra bowls of garnish, such as sliced sping onions, chopped peppers, chopped parsley, chopped chives and/or croutons.