Tex-Mex Gazpacho

It's almost mid-July! Time for no-hassle ideas on what to do with all of that blooming produce sitting on the counter. I have a problem with using tomatoes before they go bad. Seeing the skin crinkle or darken where they have been resting means it's prime-time (past time!) to cut them up. If you're not up for roasting them in the oven and working against the A/C, this gazpacho will do the trick.

Gazpacho is a cold, refreshing soup that originated in the Mediterranean and was found useful to field workers during the long, hot summers . It's known for quenching thirst and its high nutritive value. Plus, it requires no cooking. What more could you ask for?

Gazpacho variations can be red, white, or green, but since we're talking tomatoes here, red is our color. There are limitless adaptations you can make, so find your preference and take your pick. I love Tex-Mex flavor and happen to have unused cilantro, so when I saw this recipe roll through this month's Real Simple, I made a few changes and had to share; here's a classic with a twist!

TEX-MEX GAZPACHO...all you need is a blender

  • 2.5 pounds tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 kirby cucumbers (the baby ones), chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 red onion, chopped
  • 2 limes, juiced (or 3 tablespoons of the bottled...more economical!)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup pepitas (these are pumpkin seeds; if these aren't available, roasted sunflower seeds work too)
  • Cilantro sprigs
  • Salt and course pepper

In a blender, puree tomatoes, cucumber, bell pepper, and onion. You'll have to do this in batches, so transfer to a big bowl or storage container as you work.

Stir in the lime juice, oil, 1 and 1/4 teaspoons salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Refrigerate for 20 minutes until chilled (or pop in the freezer for 5!)

Get your bowl, pour in soup, top with pepitas, tear off cilantro leaves to lightly cover.

Serve with warm tortillas, tortillas chips, or whatever crusty bread that's around. Get out the tabasco!

Lazy Bones.