My friend, Melanie, let me plant radishes and green beans in her backyard this year. She was growing corn, strawberries, various herbs, and tomatoes. A few days ago she facebooked me to say the tomatoes were in and come load up. Unfortunately I’m not home so I can’t make one of my favorite summer soups, Gazpacho, with Melanie’s tomatoes.
I have a very old recipe at home given to me by a long departed friend, Terry. The recipe is lovingly smeared through years of use, but it doesn’t matter, I make it how I want to each year. Feel free to improvise as well.
2-3 cups tomato juice
2-3 medium ripe tomatoes (peeled and seeded)
1 cucumber (seeded)
1 pepper (seeded green, yellow, or red)
1 small jalepeno (seeded) or 1/4 tsp cayenne
2-3 cloves garlic
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (my favorite is a green, grassy, and peppery oil)
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp/cube beef bouillon
2 slices or rolls of day old bread
Pour tomato juice in blender or food processor add bouillon and mix until bouillon is blended in. Rough cut the rest of the vegetables and place in mix. Blend until still chunky. Add bread and blend until slightly chunky. Add vinegar and olive oil. I usually put it in a pitcher and seal. Refrigerate for at least an hour. Tastes even better the next day. Pour some more fresh olive oil in just before you eat the soup.
I do lots of variations depending on what I have at hand or my food mood. Think about adding cilantro leaves, rosemary, basil, dill, or before serving some cold, sliced beef or shrimp.
May the sun shine through your branches.