Drink your salad. Hailing from the Spanish region of Andalusia, gazpacho originally was made from garlic, olive oil, almonds, and stale bread. But over time and geographical shifts, it morphed into the tomato-based summer vegetable soup we can’t get enough of when the garden is bursting and the nights are warm. For the best flavor, let it chill for several hours or up to a day or two. If you’re impatient and must serve it immediately, throw a couple of ice cubes into the blender along with the gazpacho. It’s sort of cheating, but when it’s hot outside, you do what you have to do. A little toasted garlic-rubbed crusty bread turns this into a light meal.
Working in batches, puree the tomatoes, cucumber, peppers, garlic, and onion in a blender until smooth. Pour into a large bowl and whisk in the vinegar and then the oil until the soup emulsifies and thickens. Season with 2 teaspoons salt and a few grinds of pepper.
(If you like a smoother gazpacho, strain the soup through a fine-mesh sieve, pushing down on the solids with the back of a ladle or spatula, before adding the vinegar, oil, salt, and pepper. Discard solids.)
Cover and refrigerate the soup until well chilled, at least 3 hours. Thin with water if you like it looser. Adjust seasonings and give it a good stir to bring it together again. Pour in soup bowls or over ice in a tall glass. Serve with a drizzle of oil if you’d like.
It’s really annoying to pack a blender full of goodies to puree and the motor is whirring away but nothing’s happening. To avoid this, blend a handful of pieces of juicy ingredients to get some liquid going, then add more of the ingredients. If working in batches, leave a little of the liquid from the last batch in the blender and add more ingredients to it.