Chill Out with Blender Gazpacho

I went a little bananas the other day, the farmers market had lovely fresh Jersey tomatoes, cucumbers and red bell peppers on Sunday so I stocked up and then some. I use them in salads, in juices, raw pastas, etc. but I have an abundance. So I decided it must be time to make gazpacho. Cool, fresh and delicious gazpacho is like the best of summer.

While I love gazpacho I’m not a fan of the super chunky kind, it feels like I’m spooning up salsa. I puree mine in the blender and then add in some extra vegetables for something to chew. If you happen to enjoy yours a bit chunky use your food processor on pulse instead.  Here’s what you’ll need:

Ingredients:
4 large vine ripened tomatoes, cut into large pieces
3/4 of a large cucumber, roughly chopped
1 red or yellow bell pepper, roughly chopped
1 cup onion, roughly chopped
2 Tbs red wine vinegar
1 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
1 garlic clove, smashed
1 cup of water or 1 cup vegetable juice

Optional toppings: 

1/4 of a large cucumber, finely chopped
1 small zucchini, diced
avocado
cooked chilled shrimp, shells removed
lump crab meat, picked over to remove pieces of shell

Directions:
Put the first 10 ingredients into your blender and whirl away.*  Pour into your bowl or storage container and stir in the finely chopped cucumber and zucchini.  Chill for 2 hours to let flavors meld together.

I like to top mine with avocado for garnish and I’ll add some cooked chilled shrimp or lump crab meat to make it a meal.

*If your blender is not large enough to handle all of these ingredients at once do this in 2 batches and combine in a bowl