We take a brief pause in the Mountaineer Race Report for a little foodie love. Cause for all y'all who don't remember, I'm a foodie at heart.
(And a lover of reality TV. So it goes without saying that this, this and especially this makes me as happy as a clam with a universal remote!)
But with the advent of this ridiculous heat wave and the realization that I had yet to make it this season, this weekend I embarked on making my favorite summer indulgence -- Gazpacho. For those who don't know, it's a delicious cold soup (yes, I know -- soups are usually hot...get over it!) that has a ridiculous amount of veggies in it and packs a huge flavor punch.
It's made a bunch of different ways and purists may not consider my chunky recipe to fit the technical description since it's not pureed with bread. But, frankly, they can go fly a kite. Because this is nummy and good for you! Not to mention the fact that it doesn't force me to dig out my stick blender to puree it or manage to have day old bread at just the right time. Chunky is good.
So, here's my current recipe...
1 - 46 oz container of tomato juice (low sodium for those who are watching that kind of thing)
2 - medium cucumbers, peeled and de-seeded, diced
1 - large red pepper, diced
2 - green onion sprigs, diced, white and green sections
3 - fresh tomatoes, diced
2 - carrots, small dice (I make this dice slightly smaller, since they won't soften in the mix)
1 - large bunch celery hearts, cleaned, small dice
1 - T balsamic vinegar
1 - tsp kosher salt
1 - T coarse pepper
dash hot sauce to taste (I use about 5 strong dashes)
Place all of the ingredients in a big refrigerator friendly bowl with cover or covered with saran wrap. Try to keep a uniform dice for most of the veggies -- a 1/2 inch will do great. The carrots do well with a slightly smaller dice, since they're a bit crunchier.
Chill and allow flavors to blend for at least 2 hours. Serve with Chiabatta bread, drizzled with olive oil and toasted in oven or on grill. Excellent with grilled shrimp skewers.