4 cloves garlic, smashed
4 peppers (red, yellow, or orange) diced into large pieces
3 pounds very ripe tomatoes, diced into large pieces
1 cup day old baguette, diced into medium pieces
½ cup olive oil
¼ cup sherry or champagne vinegar
1 cup cucumber, small dice
½ cup scallions, small dice (white & light green parts)
Salt & pepper
1. Lay your bell peeper on its side on a cutting board. With your chef’s knife, cut one side of the pepper off to make a flat side. Place the flat side down on the cutting board. Now cut another side off and place it on the board. Cut the remaining sides off. Discard the seeds. Cut the pepper into pieces.
2. Cut the tomatoes into large pieces.
3. Using a Vitamix blender or food processor, working in batches, blend the garlic, peppers, tomatoes, bread, olive oil, and vinegar until it becomes a smooth purée.
4. Pass the soup through a medium-hole strainer or sieve. The soup should have the consistency of a thin milk shake. If needed, add ½-1 cup water to reach desired consistency. If you prefer a thicker soup, then add less water or none at all.
5. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover and chill for at least two to three hours.
6. Ladle the gazpacho into bowls or cute jars. Top with diced cucumber and scallions and serve.
TIPS & TRICKS
• Gazpacho can be made 2-3 days in advance
• I prefer to use tomatoes from the garden or the farmers markets in the summertime since they are at their peek flavor. Any variety will do- red, yellow, heirloom, or beefsteak just to name a few--as long as they are nice and ripe. They can be “ugly.” Just cut off any blemishes and blend them up!
• If you can’t find sherry vinegar, you can use champagne or even balsamic vinegar. They have a nice acidity to them but are not as strong in flavor as red wine vinegar.
• You can garnish the soup with finely diced jalapeños or bacon for an extra pop!
• Gazpacho makes a great appetizer or first course severed in the cute jars or little glasses.