I love making Gazpacho, but I find that every time I make it, I serve way too much. I can eat a huge bowl full, with a hunk of crusty bread, and call it a meal, but the average person doesn’t, in my experience, want that much soup. They would prefer the soup not be the main course, but rather, an accent side dish to go with other things. So here’s a creative way to serve a small portion of gazpacho, to go with whatever the plated main course will be. This is also a fun way to fancy up a happy hour gathering. My recipe follows, so feel free to give it a try. Chilled gazpacho is a great summertime meal.
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Serve with some crusty bread or crunchy flax seed crackers – or present in Martini glasses at a happy hour or cocktail party gathering
4 cups tomato juice or V8 (regular or low-sodium)
2 cups diced, fresh tomatoes
1 peeled chopped cucumber (not too small)
½ to 1 cup chopped green bell pepper
½ cup chopped red bell pepper (*optional)
1 cup chopped celery
½ cup chopped red onion
2 chopped scallions, including most of the greens
2-3 cloves minced garlic
¼ bunch cilantro – stems removed and leaves whole or roughly chopped (or parsley, but I prefer cilantro)
2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
2 Tbsp. lemon or lime juice (experiment & decide which you prefer)
1 to 2 Tbsp. olive oil (I use extra virgin)
Salt & pepper to taste
Dash of Worcestershire sauce (*optional – contains anchovies, so leave out, if guests are vegan or have seafood allergies)
Two or three dashes of Tabasco or other hot sauce
Combine all ingredients in a large bowl, stir and chill for at least three hours before serving. It’s good cold and the longer the flavors meld together the better it tastes, so I always make mine first thing in the morning for serving at dinner.
Have hot sauce on the table, so guests may add more spice, if they like things hotter.
*As an option, you may want to puree about ¼ or so of the batch, then stir into the rest, to create a thicker base.
*Another option is to add cooked cocktail shrimp – if your guests aren’t vegans or have seafood allergies.
(The number of servings this makes depends upon whether you are serving soup bowls full or smaller servings presented in Martini glasses.)