August means the garden is in full bloom. And there are loads and loads of tomatoes, cucumbers and basil. No garden? Try the Farmer’s Market. Once, we were at the Farmer’s Market when they were closing up and a vendor literally gave us a huge basket of tomatoes simply because she didn’t want to carry them home!
When tomatoes and cucumbers are in season, you’ll almost always find a batch of my Mom’s gazpacho in our fridge. On a hot August day, a bowl of chilled gazpacho is so refreshing! And it reminds me of my parents’ garden being flush with tomatoes too. I used to love wandering the backyard, between tall tomato cages and bushy herbs just before the start of school. This soup brings back all those memories!
The recipe makes about 6 portions and comes together really fast in a blender or food processor. Ours is processed to be fairly smooth, but feel free to leave your veggies chunky if you like. We usually eat it with crackers or a slice of toast. Serve cold and sure, you can drink it from a mug – we do sometimes!
2 pounds fresh tomatoes
2 stalks celery
1 red onion
1 cup tomato juice
4 Tbs. fresh basil
3 Tbs. red wine vinegar
2 Tbs. lemon juice plus zest of one lemon
1 Tbs. balsamic vinegar
2 tsp. Old Bay-style seasoning
salt/pepper, to taste as desired
Core and roughly chop tomatoes. Trim cucumbers and celery, roughly chop. Peel and trim onion, roughly chop. Add all veggies to a food processor or high speed blender with tomato juice, fresh basil, vinegars, lemon juice and zest, Old Bay and Worcestershire sauce. Process together until as smooth a desired.