When we began our little garden in May, I was so consumed with the idea of fresh tomatoes that we planted ten cherry tomato plants in one of our two raised beds. Now in July, we are raking in a large bowl of tomatoes every day — with seemingly no lull in production in sight. This surplus of tomatoes (I admit, there are certainly worse things one can experience) have left me seeking more fresh and creative ways to stay on top of our tomato harvest.
Luckily, I interplanted lots of lemon basil and other complimenting herbs with my tomatoes to inspire and encourage me in the kitchen. My take on the traditional Spanish soup encompasses all that a summer harvest offers – fresh, seasonal produce and herbs with minimal preparation. And the best part? None of the vegetables’ nutrients are lost through heating, making this soup incredibly nourishing. Enjoy this soup as an appetizer or a light lunch or dinner served with a salad or half sandwich. Try it at room temperature or add a few ice cubes to the blender for a chilled, refreshing soup.
*Note: traditional gazpacho is a bit on the spicy side. To control the heat, use less or more garlic based on your preference.
Ingredients (serves 2)
1.5 lb cherry tomatoes
1 small cucumber, sliced
1 small onion, peeled and quartered
A small handful of lemon basil
lemon juice from 1/2 a lemon
3-4 garlic cloves
3 tablespoons olive oil
Plenty of cracked black pepper
1 pinch of salt
A few cubes of ice (optional)
In a blender, combine all ingredients and blend until smooth, or until the desired consistency is reached. Taste for salt and pepper. Serve immediately, garnished with extra lemon basil.