With the sudden appearance of sweltering summer days in the city, I’m finding it really hard to motivate myself to turn on the stove. Add to that a huge pile of work plus the adventure of trying to sell my car (long story short: it’s sold. And I even managed to not sell it to this crew of ‘2 Fast 2 Furious’ kids who kept offering me $2100 when another guy already told me he’ll pay me $2200), and you’ve got one not-very-active blogger!

But now that the car’s sold and I’m sitting at home drinking echinacea tea while recovering from a cold (oh the irony!) and thus, not feeling too guilty about not doing actual school work, it’s time to share with you a recipe. This one doesn’t even require turning on the stove!

If you’ve been going to farmer’s markets lately, I’m sure you’ve been noticing the mountains of beautiful tomatoes everywhere. As we’re nearing the end of tomato season, Nathan and I have officially begun our annual quest to eat as many tomatoes as possible before they disappear from the markets. Orangette, in an article in Bon Appetit magazine, gave a recipe for oven-roasted tomatoes that I’ve been dying to try. But I’m going to wait until we get some proper San Francisco summer days again (read: foggy, windy, and chilly) before turning on the oven for multiple hours.

In the meantime, an icy cold gazpacho sounds like the perfect way to fulfill our tomato quota. When I did my gazpacho research, some recipes recommended using a food mill instead of a blender because you supposedly lose the bright red color if you use a blender. But if you know me, you know that I hate buying a piece of equipment just for a single purpose, so I decided to ignore all the warnings, pull out our trusty blender, and risk a not-so-red gazpacho. To help rescue the color a bit, I blended only half of the tomatoes and finely chopped the rest.

So what do you think? Is my food-mill-less gazpacho a red-enough gazpacho?

With the exception of a lot of ripe tomatoes, I don’t think it matters all that much what other vegetables you throw into the soup. The standards are carrots, cucumbers, bell peppers, celery, and onion. But if you’re missing one or some of these ingredients, I’m sure your gazpacho will still come out quite delicious.

5-6 large, very ripe tomatoes (I used a bunch of heirlooms)
2 small carrots, peeled and finely diced
1-2 cucumbers, finely diced (and peeled, if you prefer)
1 green bell pepper, seeded and finely diced
2 stalks of celery, finely diced
1 small white onion (or half of a large one), finely diced
handful of finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
2-3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil (plus more to drizzle on top)
2 tsp of white/red wine vinegar
1 tbsp of salt (plus more to taste)
2 tsp of dried oregano
1 tsp of sugar (optional, if your tomatoes are on the tart side)
freshly ground black pepper

Coarsely chop half of the tomatoes and place in blender. Add the other vegetables, reserving a couple handfuls of each to stir in for texture (unless you’re going for a completely smooth soup). Add olive oil, vinegar, salt, garlic, oregano, and pepper. Pulse blender until the ingredients are mostly pureed.

Finely chop the rest of the tomatoes and stir into the blended soup. Stir in the other reserved vegetables. Taste the soup and add sugar, if it’s too tart. Also add more salt and pepper if necessary.

Ideally, chill soup in refrigerator overnight before serving. But if you want to eat it right away, you can also throw a few ice cubes into the serving bowls.

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