I received a great batch of summer veggies with my CSA this week, and whipped up a summer gazpacho! My tomatoes are just starting to come in, so they are just a garnish here, but regardless this cold soup was lovely and silky – excellent for the hot July nights we’ve been having. Make sure to use beets and cucumbers in this recipe, they are the core of the soup. The other vegetables can be omitted if you don’t have them.
4 Main servings, pair with a good crusty bread and red wine or Spanish sidra.
- 3 medium beets
- 3 ears corn
- 1 fennel bulb
- 2 zucchini
- 3 cucumbers
- 3-4 slices stale bread
- 2-3 cloves garlic
- 1 cup olive oil
- 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 ground black pepper, 1/4 tsp chili flake
- optional garnishes: parsley, minced rosemary, sliced cherry tomatoes, sumac
- Rinse beets. Trim ends, peel, and rinse again to remove earth. Chop into quarters.
- Place beets in a medium pot. Pour water over to cover, bring to a boil. Boil for 15 minutes or until beets are tender when pierced with a fork.
- Meanwhile, peel zucchini and cucumbers. Chop. Shuck corn and slice off the cob. Chop fennel.
- Drain beets when tender, reserving liquid. Return liquid to the pot and add the zucchini, corn, and fennel. Bring to a boil, boil for 3 minutes to just tenderize these veggies.
- Drain the veggies and reserve the liquid.
- Toast the bread slices and cut into cubes. Peel garlic.
- Working in batches in a blender or using an immersion blender, combine all ingredients, including cooked veggies, olive oil, toast, garlic, spices, and parsley.
- Add the cooking liquid or water as needed to help blend the veggies, adding 1/2 cup at a time to create a smooth, creamy mixture. Use up to 3 1/2 cups of liquid.
- You can serve with this texture, or push through a strainer for an even smoother soup. Just be aware that straining takes a bit more time, although it is rewarding! You can also save pulps to mix in with scrambled eggs or omelettes.
- Chill the soup for at least one hour before serving, although it is best the next day!
- Sprinkle garnishes and enjoy with a crusty bread and red wine or Spanish sidra.