This post is in response to a friend who emailed me recently asking if I had ever eaten at a restaurant in Washington, D.C. called Bootsie, Winky and Miss Maud (who could forget that name—and yes, I had!) and mentioned that she had always enjoyed their Gazpacho Soup (which I never had) and asked if I might have a good recipe for Gazpacho Soup. I do, I do!
This soup is perfect for summer. It is flavorful, healthful, filling and refreshing—all at the same time. You can change it up by garnishing it with anything that sounds good to you at the time. It is a great starter, but I can also make a meal of it anytime—and I thank my friend for her reminding me of this great soup.
P.S. Sadly, the restaurant isn’t there anymore.
8 to 10 servings
2 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
2 pounds medium-size tomatoes (about 6), peeled and chopped
1 medium-size cucumber, peeled, seeded and cut into chunks
1 green pepper, seeded and chopped
1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
3 slices day old French or other bread, crusts removed
¼ cup red wine or sherry vinegar
2 cups tomato juice
¼ cup olive oil
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon paprika
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
Juice of ½ lemon
1 teaspoons kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
Homemade croutons (see note below)
Sliced green onions or chives
In a food processor, combine the garlic, tomatoes, cucumber, green pepper, onion, bread and vinegar. Process until all of the pieces are broken up and the mixture is fairly smooth—it will still have some texture. Transfer the vegetable mixture to a large bowl and stir in the tomato juice, olive oil, sugar, paprika, parsley, lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste. Refrigerate the soup for at least 2 hours until well chilled. Before serving, taste the soup again for seasoning. Serve in chilled bowls, serving garnishes on the side.
Note: to easily make homemade croutons, cut several slices of day-old bread into small cubes. In a skillet, heat a tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Add the breadcrumbs and stir to cover them with the oil. Sauté the croutons until they are golden brown. Sprinkle them lightly with salt and pepper and turn them onto paper towels to drain and cool.