Gazpacho, the tomato-based, cold soup that is world famous, has many variations. Originating in the southern Spanish region of Andalucia, gazpacho is a refreshing summer soup.
I call it Italian Gazpacho because the original recipe came from Vitamix (industrial strength blender), using Mario Batali’s recipe. I made a few changes and top my version with homemade ricotta.
If you’ll be using a blender other than Vitamix, chop the veggies into small pieces (so you don’t burn out the motor) and blend smaller batches of the soup. You may also want to make only half of the recipe. This recipe makes 12 cups.
This soup is thicker than other gazpacho’s I’ve eaten and extremely flavorful. The only secret to this amazing, no cooking required, (a meal by itself) soup is to use fully ripened tomatoes and let the flavors mingle overnight.
Served with a simple salad or grilled shrimp, this is an easy meal to get on the table when it’s too hot to cook. Packs perfectly for a picnic. Make a batch for your next road-trip or take a thermos-full on a hike, you won’t be disappointed.
- 6 large beefsteak tomatoes, quartered
- 2 large English cucumbers peeled, quartered
- 2 green bell peppers stemmed. seeded, quartered
- 1 small jalapenos stemmed, seeded
- 1 small red onion peeled, quartered
- 3 garlic cloves peeled, smashed
- 2 slices rustic country bread (day old, torn into pieces)
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 cup ice cubes
- Season with salt and pepper to taste
- 2 cups ricotta
- Chopped tomatoes, bell peppers, cucumbers and or green onions for garnish
- Using a Vitamix blender: Place 1/3 of the vegetables, bread, water, vinegar, oil and ice into the Vitamix container, secure lid.
- Pulse the mixture, slowly increasing the speed, (using the tamper when necessary) blend until smooth. Pour into a very large bowl or pot.
- Repeat with next batch and then the last third of the ingredients, blending until smooth each time and pouring into the large bowl or pot.
- Season with 1 1/2 teaspoons salt.
- Pour or ladle the soup into a large container, (water pitcher or jar) cover and refrigerate until very cold, (allowed to chill overnight, gets the flavor party started, this soup tastes best the next day). Before serving add additional salt if necessary and a few grinds of black pepper. Makes 12 cups.
To serve, pour soup into shallow bowls, top with a spoonful of fresh ricotta and garnish with diced veggies.