Photo Jul 24, 11 09 21 PM.jpg

It's the season for gazpacho.

There are certain recipes that have an ideal window of time to make them. Rustic tarts made with stone fruit are at the top of my list. Next up? Gazpacho. The peak of summer is the perfect time to make this simple, refreshing soup.

Gazpacho is believed to have originated in Rome at first as a soup made of bread, oil and water. Later, in the Andalusia region of southern Spain, field workers would pound together bread, oil, water, garlic and other raw vegetables to make a soup that kept them nourished in the hot sun. This version leaves out the bread and instead celebrates the beauty and flavor of raw summer vegetables.

In the same amount of time it takes to make a smoothie, you can make this cool, refreshing, summer soup. Garnish with whatever you feel like. You could add summer squash, bell peppers or leafy greens. You could garnish the top with avocado or a spoon of Greek yogurt. You could serve with fresh bread for dunking. Next time I make this, I think I’ll add some slices of jalapeño on top for heat and fun.

Summer Gazpacho

Makes 4 servings;

total time: 15 minutes

For soup:

1 cucumber, peeled

2 pounds ripe heirloom tomatoes, core removed

1 garlic clove, peeled

1 tablespoon aged balsamic vinegar

1 small red onion, quartered

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

For garnish:

1 carrot, thinly sliced

1 watermelon radish, sliced

fresh basil leaves

1 small cucumber, thinly sliced

Preparation: Add cucumber, tomato, garlic, balsamic vinegar, red onion, extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper to a blender. Blend on high until smooth, about a minute.

Pour soup into a strainer, and scrape through with a rubber spatula to remove skin and seeds. Cool for at least 1 hour before serving.

Pour soup into bowls and garnish with thinly sliced carrots, radish, cucumber and basil leaves.

Marianne Sundquist is a chef, food business consultant and shares recipes for home cooks on Instagram @chefmariannesundquist. She owns the catering business Daya, which has shifted for the time being into an online general store, sourcing and delivering pantry staples to area residents. Visit dayasantafe.square.site and email her at marianne@dayasantafe.com.

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