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“I could very easily eat gazpacho every day, all summer long (and I sometimes do!). When toma­toes, peppers, and summer squashes are ripe, the flavour of this cold soup is incomparable. What distinguishes my version from others is a quick sweating, or cooking down, of the vegetables before pureeing. The inclusion of that little bit of heat caramelises and sweetens up the vegetables, creating a soup that is profoundly satisfying on a warm day.” – Ashley English

Ashley English’s Gazpacho

Serves 8 to 10

Ingredients:

3 garlic cloves
Pinch of coarse salt
½ cup olive oil
1 large onion, diced
3 medium carrots, peeled and diced
2 red, yellow or orange bell peppers, diced
1 pound yellow squash or zucchini, diced
1 quart organic vegetable juice
3 tablespoons white wine, red wine or balsamic vinegar
Juice of 1 lime
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
A few dashes of hot sauce
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons sea salt
Several grinds of black pepper
3 pounds fresh tomatoes, diced
2 pounds cucumbers, seeded and diced

Optional Toppings:

Almond slivers
Toast points
Chopped fresh parsley, cilantro or lemon balm
Hot sauce

Method:

1. Mince the garlic finely, then chop a pinch of coarse salt into it. Leave to sit for a few minutes while you prepare the vegetables.

2. Warm the olive oil in a stockpot over medium-high heat. Add the onion, carrots, bell peppers, squash and prepared garlic, and reduce the heat to low. Cook for 10 to 12 minutes, until the onion is translucent and the vegetables are fragrant and limp.

3. Add the vegetable juice, wine, lime juice, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, cumin, sea salt and black pepper to the pot. Cook for 2 more minutes.

4. Remove from the heat, and set aside for 20 to 30 minutes, until the soup mixture is not hot anymore (warm is okay).

5. Working in batches, pour the cooled mixture into a food processor and pulse until there are no big pieces, but it is still a bit textured. Transfer to a large bowl.

6. Working in batches, pulse the diced tomatoes in a food processor until a similar consistency is achieved, then stir them into the vegetable mixture in the bowl. Stir in the diced cucumbers.

7. Cover the bowl and place in the refrigerator to chill. Gazpacho can be made the night before serving; in fact, doing so helps the flavours to ‘set up’ and develop. To serve, ladle the soup into bowls. Garnish with optional toppings as desired.

From A Year of Picnics by Ashley English © 2017 by Ashley English. Photographs © 2017 by Jen Altman. Reprinted in arrangement with Roost Books, an imprint of Shambhala Publications, Inc. Boulder, CO. roostbooks.com

About The Book: 

Savour good food and good company while lounging beneath the shady canopy of trees or under the sparkle of a starry sky. With just a picnic blanket and a little inspiration, you can transform mealtimes into an opportunity to relax, connect and enjoy the outdoors. A Year of Picnics presents everything you need to picnic through the seasons, with over 70 picnic-perfect recipes, tips on selecting your location, advice for packing your basket, and creative ideas for outdoor activities. Through 20 themed picnics, celebrate the bounty of summer produce with a ‘Table-to-Farm Picnic’ or revel in the colours of autumn with a ‘Falling Leaves Picnic’. You’ll discover the ways food can be elevated by your surroundings.


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