I don’t think you’ll be rolling your eyes and saying “Huh? Gazpacho? AGAIN?” after you taste mine.
I have a couple wonderful secret ingredients that do wonders with this perennial favorite: Watercress, and capers. The upgrade will certainly not be lost on you: Liquid salad never tasted so good. Do not be tempted to substitute stem tomatoes, or grape or cherry tomatoes, to make gazpacho, no matter how luscious they look. For gazpacho we want much meatier tomatoes here, like plum or beefsteak.
- 8 plum tomatoes, halved (or 4 beefsteak tomatoes, quartered)
- 1 seedless cucumber, unpeeled cut into large chunks
- 1 medium red onion
- 2 red peppers, seeded and quartered
- 6 ribs celery, peeled
- 4 large cloves garlic
- 1 bunch flat parsley, stems and leaves
- Half a bunch watercress, stems and leaves
- 1/4 cup capers
- 4 cups bottled tomato juice
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/2 cup fresh lemon or lime juice
- 3 tablespoons bottled hot sauce, or a little more to taste
- 1 tablespoon cumin
- 3 tablespoons paprika
- Salt and pepper to taste
In a blender or food processor, in batches, blend all ingredients until smooth. If you like it chunkier, stop blending before it gets completely smooth. If necessary, thin the mixture with cold water. Serve chilled, topped with lemon or lime slices. Makes a dozen ample servings.
Variation: For a main course, add a handful crumbled mock crab in each bowl after you spoon the soup, and a generous dollop guacamole (I keep my guacamole extra simple, in prevision of all the flavors it will be paired with: Mash avocadoes with lemon juice, salt and pepper and bottled hot sauce to taste)