The heat of summer makes this fresh child gazpacho recipe a welcome meal. ( Note-This is a nice chunky version, not a traditional Andalusian version)
Many folks don’t bother peeling tomatoes but its very easy and makes the finished soup so much nicer. Your call. Use ingredients in quantities for your plans. This can feed a large crowd or two just as easily.
Finely dice shallots and bell peppers. ( removing any membrane and seeds from the peppers)add garlic pressed through garlic press. Place in a large non-reactive bowl and pour a tablespoon of the sherry vinegar over them. Let sit while you prepare tomatoes. This is a magical step.
Simmer water in a large saucepan ( about 2-3 inches) holding tomatoes in tongs dip into simmering water and turn over. You only need to have them in the water for about 30 seconds. Remove and place in a bowl of ice water. After blanching take a paring knife and the skins will slip right off. If using a selection of different tomatoes you may need to test each variety- some take a little longer for the skins to loosen. Roughly chop peeled tomatoes. Add tomatoes and their juice to bowl with shallots and peppers.
Peel and then finely slice on a mandolin/or julienne the celery root. ( celery root adds the wonderful taste and crunch of celery without all of the strings). If your market does not have celery root use fresh celery and dice small. Add in some of the inner leaves chopped as well! Peel cucumber, (unless you have fresh organic ones which have not been waxed) remove seeds and dice. I often substitute zucchini as my husband -and many others- are adversely affected by cucumbers. Add to bowl with tomatoes. Chop the bunch of fresh parsley and add to bowl. Pour in tomato juice and mix well and then cover and place in refrigerator to allow flavors to mingle. (at least 30-45 minutes and all day is fine too. You can make this in the morning for supper) Depending on how highly seasoned your juice is you may want to add sea salt and fresh pepper. Zing Zang bloody mary mix is my favorite but Spicy Tom or Clamato add a nice touch as well, and V-8 is always a good start..
Serve in a large bowl or individual bowls depending on your mood. Accompany with crusty bread and perhaps some homemade pimento cheese ( see our recipe for truffle cheese ball– which easily adapts to a wonderful spread). Drizzle each serving with the smoked olive oil and the remaining tablespoon of sherry vinegar. Serve a chilled Rosé wine or a simple refreshing pitcher of lemon and mint water.