Gazpacho
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Gazpacho is a wonderful Spanish vegetable soup that is served chilled. It brings many summer vegetables together and has a bit of spice and acidity. You can add grilled shrimp or other seafood, and is always a hit at picnics.

If you are new to cooking, I find this to be an excellent way to get your primary cooking skills started. This chilled soup will help you to learn proper chopping techniques, and will remind you to taste, taste and taste before serving.

My gazpacho is similar to others, but I use V8 vegetable juice, as I find V8 imparts the great Tomato and vegetable flavor without too much of the typical acidity that comes from canned or jar tomatoes.

 

Gazpacho

 

Ingredients Clockwise:

Peeled, seeded and diced Cucumber

Basil

V8 Lows Sodium (or quality tomato juice)

Diced Poblano Peppers

Sweet Red Pepper

Sweet Yellow Pepper

Diced Shallot

Fresh Limejuice

And as always; salt, pepper and hot sauce to taste

 

 

 

A basic way to make even and uniformed diced vegetables is to begin with straight ‘sticks’, stack the sticks and cut as shown.

 

 

 

 

To properly remove the seeds and excess water from cucumber; use a spoon to scoop and discard the interior.

 

 

 

 

This leaves only the firm crunch and crisp flavor of cucumber, without the unpleasant seeds and water diluting your final flavor.

 

 

 

 

Mix your chopped vegetables and basil, add V8 juice to a semi-thick consistancy. Mix the ingrediants in a non-recative glass or plastic bowl. The acid of the tomato and lime juice will have a chemical reaction when mixed within a metal container.

Squeze the juice of a few limes and add a pinch of salt and fresh ground pepper.

Now taste…is it salty enough, have enough heat and spice? add a touch of hot sauce…now taste…go through the mental check list…Salt, Pepper or Spice, Acidity…these are all things that are adjustable in a dish…Keep Chilled until ready to serve.

 

 

I like to serve gazpacho in an oversized shot glass, and garnish the rim of the glass like a Margarita..instead of plain salt, I use a prepared  Cajun spice mix.. A nice, plump shrimp is also always a nice addition.

Don’t tell me you can’t make this for your next cocktail party.