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Garden Fresh Gazpacho

The mercury is rising in Charlotte.  Summer is here and as it gets hotter, my urge to use my oven gets lower.  I start to look for tasty ways to put together a dinner for my family without overheating us in the process.  Enter garden fresh gazpacho.

The inspiration for this meal actually came the day I headed over to my friend Kate’s house for a play date and some lunch.  While the kids were playing we headed out back to her beautiful vegetable garden where she proceeded to hand me a yellow squash and some jalapeno peppers. Score!  I don’t know about you, but to me, there is nothing better than fruits and veggies plucked straight from the bush.  They just taste fresher and, dare I say it, healthier.

I brought home my spoils and tried to figure out a way I could incorporate both the squash and jalapeno without cooking them up so much that they’d lose their fresh, healthy flavor.  Of course the natural answer was gazpacho.  If you’ve never had it before, prepare yourself for a healthy, tasty summertime treat.  It’s a cold tomato soup that is loaded up with healthy goodness and yummy spices.  The best part is, the longer it sits in the fridge, the better it tastes.  So if you think it’s tasty at dinner time, wait until you bring it out for lunch the next day!

Alright, head out to your veggie garden, grab up some fresh veggies and let’s put this soup together.  Here’s what you’ll need:

Ingredients Needed:

6 Cups of Tomato Juice
1 Red Onion, Diced Fine
3 Cloves of Garlic, Minced
3 Roma Tomatoes, Diced
1 Small Cucumber, Peeled and Chopped
1 Jalapeno, Seeded and Chopped (Feel free to add 2 if you like it spicier)
2 Celery Sticks, Chopped
1/4 Cup of Olive Oil
1 Lime, Juiced
1 tsp of Cumin
1 tsp of Salt
1 Tbsp of Chili Powder
1 Small Handful of Fresh Cilantro, Chopped
Optional Cayenne for Spicing it up to your liking

The first step is to add your tomato juice to a big bowl and add in your onion, garlic, tomatoes, cucumber, jalapeno, and celery. Mix it up well.

Next you’ll add in your lime juice and olive oil.  Mix it up well again.

Finally you’ll add in your cumin, salt, chili powder, and if you’re using it, your cayenne.  Mix it up one more time.  Let me note that I used frozen cilantro because I didn’t have any fresh on hand, but if you have fresh, definitely use it!

Now comes the hard part.  Stick it in your fridge and wait at least two hours for the flavors to meld together.  When you’re ready to eat it, pull it out of the refrigerator, pour some in a bowl and top with a dollop of sour cream and some chopped avocado.  Can you say yummy?  I know I can.

Garden Fresh Gazpacho

Ingredients:

6 Cups of Tomato Juice
1 Red Onion, Diced Fine
3 Cloves of Garlic, Minced
3 Roma Tomatoes, Diced
1 Small Cucumber, Peeled and Chopped
1 Jalapeno, Seeded and Chopped (Feel free to add 2 if you like it spicier)
2 Celery Sticks, Chopped
1/4 Cup of Olive Oil
1 Lime, Juiced
1 tsp of Cumin
1 tsp of Salt
1 Tbsp of Chili Powder
1 Small Handful of Fresh Cilantro, Chopped
Optional Cayenne for Spicing it up to your liking

Directions:

Add your tomato juice to a big bowl and add in your onion, garlic, tomatoes, cucumber, jalapeno, and celery. Mix it up well.

Next you'll add in your lime juice and olive oil. Mix it up well again.

Finally you'll add in your cumin, salt, chili powder, and if you're using it, your cayenne. Mix it up one more time.

Stick it in your fridge and wait at least two hours for the flavors to meld together. When you're ready to eat it, pull it out of the refrigerator, pour some in a bowl and top with a dollop of sour cream and some chopped avocado.