Gazpacho has always been a little scary to me. Cold soup just didn't make sense! I also have a strong aversion to chunks of cooked tomato, celery and tomato juice. I think it was because when I was young, my mom would always order tomato juice with a celery stalk and put pepper in it, it totally grossed me out! However, this is coming from the girl who eats tomato paste out of the can with a spoon. I never have the problem of "What do I do with the rest of the can when a recipe calls for 2 tbsp. of tomato paste?" because I end up eating half of it before I even add any to my marinara! But anyway... back to the gazpacho!
I absolutely love soup, so summertime is hard for me. The soup/sammy combo is a weekly dinner so I had to either eat hot soup when it's 80 degrees in our house, or make something cold. I decided to finally give it a try. Luckily as I looked up recipes, none had celery! I found so many recipes with so many flavors and ideas, so I decided to take a few elements from each and create my own. I think it was a big hit, JJ actually ate a big bowl of it, and I ate two! I think you could consider this a Tex-mex version, not overly chunky, but thick, cool and delicious!
1 garlic clove, smashed
1 small red onion, halved, divided
1 jalapeno, halved and seeded
2 tsp. balsamic vinegar
1 lime, juiced with 1 tsp. zest
2 c. organic tomato puree
15 oz. organic diced tomatoes
1 red bell pepper, halved, seeded
1/3 english cucumber, halved and divided
1 tsp. salt
10 grinds fresh black pepper
1 tsp. corriander
dash of tobasco sauce
Place garlic, half of onion, jalapeno, vinegar, lime juice and zest and tomato puree in a blender.
Process until very smooth, about 30 seconds.
Add diced tomatoes, half of bell pepper, half of cucumber, salt, pepper, corriander and tobasco.
Blend until fairly smooth, about 20 seconds.
Pour into a large bowl.
Mince remaining red onion, bell pepper and cucumber.
Add to soup base, mix well, taste, adjust seasonings and refrigerate for 4 hours to overnight.
Garnish with sliced avocado