Gazpacho is a traditional zingy tomato soup from Spain that showcases the refreshing tastes of its fresh ingredients.

This delicious cold soup is a perfect light appetizer to accompany summer cuisine.  Serve chilled, and don’t forget extra French baguettes for dipping!  Also, use croutons, sour cream, or finely chopped cucumber as an optional garnish (or all of them!).

Cold Gazpacho with Garlic Croutons in Glass Bowl
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Perfect Gazpacho

Cold tomato soup never had it so good!

Course Soup
Cuisine Spanish
Servings 4

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pounds vine-ripened tomatoes peeled, seeded and chopped
  • tomato juice
  • 1 cup cucumber peeled, seeded and chopped
  • 1/2 cup red bell pepper chopped
  • 1/2 cup red onion chopped
  • 1 small jalapeno seeded and minced
  • 1 medium garlic clove minced
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 lime juiced
  • 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper freshly ground
  • 2 tablespoons basil leaves fresh, shredded

Instructions

  1. Fill a 6-quart pot halfway full of water, set over high heat and bring to a boil.

  2. Make an X with a paring knife on the bottom of the tomatoes. Drop the tomatoes into the boiling water for 15 seconds, remove and transfer to an ice bath and allow to cool until able to handle, approximately 1 minute. Remove and pat dry. Peel, core and seed the tomatoes. When seeding the tomatoes, place the seeds and pulp into a fine mesh strainer set over a bowl in order to catch the juice. Press as much of the juice through as possible and then add enough bottled tomato juice to bring the total to 1 cup.

  3. Place the tomatoes and juice into a large mixing bowl. Add the cucumber, bell pepper, red onion, jalapeno, garlic clove, olive oil, lime juice, balsamic vinegar, Worcestershire, cumin, salt and pepper and stir to combine. Transfer 1 1/2 cups of the mixture to a blender and puree for 15 to 20 seconds on high speed. Return the pureed mixture to the bowl and stir to combine. Cover and chill for 2 hours and up to overnight. Serve with chiffonade of basil.

Recipe Notes

Optional: Garnish with croutons, fresh bread cubes, or a dollop of sour cream.

Courtesy of the Food Network (Alton Brown)

Tomatoes, High in Umami

Of the many plant foods that provide umami in western tradition, the tomato is foremost. Its attractive, full, rounded savory flavor comes from its high level of naturally occurring glutamate, and this flavor is reinforced by its unique crimson color. The umami theme remains constant, though the way it is expressed varies from culture to culture. Beginning in Asia with fermented soybeans, migrating through England with walnuts and mushrooms and emerging triumphantly with tomatoes in American ketchup, evidence of a deep-rooted worldwide inclination to exploit glutamate-rich foods for savory seasonings and condiments is clear.

Levels of naturally occurring glutamate (mg/100g) in tomatoes: 246