foodie fridays: pioneer woman’s gazpacho

Summer!

Here we are, right smack in the middle of it. How do I know?

Well, judging by my recently formed farmer’s tan, my need for a monthly pedicure and the dire need for a cold, salty beer at the end of the day…these things pretty much point my arrow towards mid-summer.

But given all that, there is one thing that I need to add to my “it feels like summer list” and that is, gazpacho.

In the twenty-eight years that I have been alive, I have never eaten nor made gazpacho. Gasp. I know! Sometimes I wonder how I get through life. Have you ever eaten gazpacho?

For those of you that know about gazpacho, hold on for two secs. Let me burp out this quick public service announcement…

(cue Reading Rainbow guy’s voice)

“Gazpacho is a cold Spanish tomato-based raw vegetable soup. Gazpacho is mostly consumed
      during the summer months, due to its cold temperature and acidic bite.”source 

(long beep.)

And we’re back.

I googled gazpacho the other day looking for a fail proof recipe. I kid you not, there are 7 million results for the word gazpacho. Apparently I really missed the memo on this cold soup.

Since I was overwhelmed, I went to the one woman whom I can always count on, The Pioneer Woman. Yep. Good ol’ Ree came through. Her recipe was easy to follow and packed a heap load of flavor.

I will be honest, at first I thought it would be too tomatoy…(yeah that’s a word). V8 + five tomatoes, that’s a lot red juice. But after all the ingredients were blended and had time to sit in the fridge…hello, new love!

This soup is definitely on my summer list.

Now, if it would only even out of my farmer’s tan.

The Pioneer Woman’s Gazpacho

(recipe from Ree Drummond)

Serves 8

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients:
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 red onion, diced
1 large cucumber, diced
5 roma tomatoes, diced
1 zucchini, diced
2 celery stalks, diced
1 dash salt to taste
4 cups tomato juice
1/4 cup olive oil
1/8 cup red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons white sugar
6 dashes Tabasco
1 dash black pepper to taste
avocado, garnish
sour cream, garnish
cilantro, garnish
jalapenos, garnish

Directions:
In the bowl of a food processor or in a blender, combine the minced garlic with half the red onion, half the cucumber, half the tomato, half the zucchini, half the celery, half the tomato juice, olive oil, red wine vinegar, sugar, Tabasco, and a dash of salt.
Pulse until ingredients are blended well; mixture will have a nice speckled, colorful texture. Pour into a large bowl and add the rest of the tomato juice, and half of the remaining onion, cucumber, tomato, zucchini, and celery. (Reserve the rest of the diced vegetables for garnish).
Stir mixture together and check seasonings, adding salt if needed. Chill soup for at least a couple of hours; soup needs to be very cold!
Remover the soup from the fridge and stir. Check seasonings one last time. Ladle into a bowl and garnish with remaining diced vegetables, a sliver of fresh avocado, sour cream, jalapenos, and cilantro.