We make a lot of soup…it is an easy and often healthy go to, as fresh vegetable flavors come alive when sautéed with a bit of olive oil, a touch of spice and rich broth. Last night I was contemplating making one of my usual salads for the night, as I was out of any kind of chicken or vegetable stock, but instead opted to blend all my salad veggies together with a can of San Marzano tomatoes and a ton of Spanish spices for what became the best gazpacho I have ever made. Give yourself time to really let it chill, perhaps making this before you go to work in the morning for dinner that night. Indulge a bit by adding crisp bacon or shredded parmesan to the top, some bacon croutons, or a simple slice of tomato.
1/2 red onion, roughly chopped
1 English cucumber, roughly chopped
1 red pepper, stem and seeds removed and roughly chopped
1 small jalapeno, stem and seeds removed and roughly chopped
3 tablespoons fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon each pepper and salt
1 clove garlic, roughly chopped
1 large can San Marzano or other high quality tomatoes with their juice
2 tablespoons Sherry vinegar
Zest and juice of 1 lime
2 tablespoons Sherry or white wine
2 slices white bread, crusts removed and sliced
Add everything to a large blender, placing the bread in the middle of the blender to soak up the liquids. Let sit for about 10 minutes, then blend until smooth. I like some texture in soup, if you want it brothy, you can strain through a strainer. Chill until cold then adjust any additional seasonings and serve.
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