It is easy to take the tomato for granted in late summer. A stroll around Copley’s Farmer’s Market, or any farmer’s market, shows an abundance of these beautiful round shapes, their skins taut and from juices who’ve had the luxury ripening in the fresh air of an open field instead of a hothouse. But these jewels are fleeting. Eat them while you can.
I was at the farmer’s market on a recent Friday, a few blocks from the Monitor. I had met my mom and my brother there for lunch. Mom had taken a bus up from the Cape with a group that was listening to a performance of Trinity Chapel‘s organ (not to miss, if you are ever in Boston). My brother’s office overlooks Copley Square from his shiny office tower in the John Hancock building. It was easy for him to swoop down and join us for a sandwich among the smells of ripe vegetables and the sounds of a guitar and saxophone jazz duet.
Mom spotted a gazpacho recipe pinned to a basket of tomatoes in one of the stalls. I didn’t waste any time in loading up my own bag with the ingredients (parsley, peppers, heirloom tomatoes, yellow onion). I had been wanting to try making a batch of gazpacho since I spotted the Rowdy Chowgirl’s recipe, a new pal from the International Food Blogger’s Conference.
I hustled my ingredients home and put my 1970s blender to work. If you will be using a blender to make gazpacho I recommend passing the soup through a fine strainer to catch the pepper skin and too-large pieces of parsley. This will give it a much smoother, creamier texture. I also recommend using the best olive oil you can find, making sure that all the olives come from one region (check the label). Pretty much from start to finish you’ll be done in 15 minutes. Because I chose orange and yellow peppers, my gazpacho looked more orange than tomato-red. But it was still delicious.
My friend Melissa was coming over for a walk and I offered to feed her my fresh soup. For a moment I wondered, what else to serve? Until I realized that gazpacho is essentially a liquid salad. A bowl of this, and you’ve got your veggie quota set for the day. We said grace, broke a French baguette, and marveled at this goodness. You will, too.
Sweet pepper and heirloom tomato gazpacho
2 sweet peppers
2 to 3 medium heirloom tomatoes
1 small cucumber
1/2 yellow onion
3 to 4 cloves garlic
1/3 cup parsley
splash red wine vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste
Combine all ingredients in a food processor or blender. Blend until puréed. If using a blender, pour through a fine strainer.
Chill or serve immediately.
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