I could eat quarts of gazpacho all summer long. When I set about making this version, the goal was a gazpacho with great, fresh tomato taste, but even deeper flavor.
The solution was simple: roast the tomatoes first.
The sweet, layered result is well worth the slight extra hands-off time it took to bake them. If you feel like your tomatoes are perfect, then skip the roasting and get right to the chopping.
You can use peppers that are all the same color, but the blend of hues won't be as varied. You also can swap in one green pepper; some people love their slightly more bitter flavor.
In a perfect world, all of the vegetables in a gazpacho might be finely diced, and look pretty and symmetrical. I don't happen to live in a perfect world, and I happen to love my food processor, so I just use that to pulse the vegetables in batches so they chop evenly. Is it as pretty as dicing? Nope. Does it taste as good? Yup.
What to do with all of that extra time? I'm sure you'll find something good.
ROASTED TOMATO GAZPACHO
Start to finish: 1 hour plus chilling time
12 plum tomatoes
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 seedless cucumbers, skin on, cut into 1-inch chunks
1 red bell pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 yellow bell pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 red orange pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 red onion, cut into 1-inch pieces
6 scallions, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
2 to 3 cups tomato juice
3 tablespoons white wine, champagne, or white balsamic vinegar
Hot sauce to taste
Preheat the oven to 400 F. Spray a rimmed baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray, or lightly oil the sheet.
Cut the tomatoes in half lengthwise and place them cut side up on the prepared baking sheet. Drizzle them evenly with the olive oil and the vinegar, and then sprinkle them with the sugar and salt. Roast them for about 45 to 50 minutes, until they are lightly caramelized and starting to collapse.
Add half of the tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, onion and scallions into the food processor. Pulse to chop the vegetables as finely as you would like them in the finished soup. Turn the chopped vegetables into a bowl, and repeat with the remaining vegetables. Remove half of this batch of chopped vegetables to the bowl, and then let the food processor run for about 20 seconds until the remaining couple of cups of vegetables are pureed. Add those to the bowl.
Add the tomato juice and vinegar, as well as hot sauce to taste. Stir, and adjust the salt and pepper as desired. Refrigerate the soup for at least 2 hours, and up to 2 days. Serve chilled.
Nutrition information per serving: 137 calories; 44 calories from fat; 5 g fat (1 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 0 mg cholesterol; 464 mg sodium; 22 g carbohydrate; 4 g fiber; 10 g sugar; 4 g protein.
Katie Workman has written two cookbooks focused on easy, family-friendly cooking.