Rachel here: As we mentioned this past Thursday, Mondays are now going to feature a vegetarian and/or vegan recipe in an effort to do our small part to enact and encourage environmentally-responsible eating. I am delighted to kick this posting trend off today with a delicious, hearty and summery recipe. Since it first crossed my mind to make gazpacho a few summers ago, it has been a staple in our house in the hotter months. I think my favorite part about it is that I’m never quite sure what all will end up in the bowl, making my ingredient decisions instead at the grocery store or farmers’ market as I encounter the produce. I accompanied the meal this time with garlic bread, although I’ve been known to forgo the oven completely (even greener!) and just put out some cheese and crackers. Either way, every time I serve it there are happy faces and full bellies around the table come dinner’s end.
1 large lemon
1 1/2 c. cannelini beans
5 small tomatoes (or equivalent)
1 medium cucumber
1 medium white onion
1 medium green bell pepper
1 ear fresh corn
salt and pepper
fresh mint leaves
Dice your tomatoes, cucumber, onion, bell pepper and corn. Put in a large bowl, reserving 1 1/2 cups. Puree the reserved vegetables and add to bowl. Add the beans and juice from the lemon. Season with salt and pepper and tear up just a few mint leaves. The idea with the mint at this point is to just add the subtlest hint of mint. The leaves don’t hold up so well, though, so I get the bulk of my minty flavor when I garnish the soup right before serving it. Add tomato juice as needed to get a good amount of liquid. Make sure the soup is well mixed before placing in the refrigerator to chill for a few hours. During this time, the flavors will come out a bit more. Taste before serving and adjust seasoning if needed. Garnish with a few mint leaves in each bowl and enjoy.
Janet here: The best gazpacho, to my mind, has a bit of zing to it so when I make it, I add things like Worcestershire sauce and hot sauce. (This would not go with mint FYI so I would leave that out of Rachel’s recipe.) I also like to leave mine a little crunchy so I don’t puree it all the way. Just some other thoughts to consider as you’re experimenting with this wonderful summer day staple. Enjoy!