The bounty of summer is beginning to pour in. Our neighbor has more peaches than he knows what to do with. Now we have more peaches than we know what to do with. And he has invited us back for more. Unfortunately his apricot and cherry trees had no fruit this year, probably because of late frost.
Good friends gave us some delicious plums from their back yard. We will probably get some more when we visit them today. So far, no one has given us any zucchini, but they will come. The tomatoes are in abundance.
This week we went to the market at the Community Farm instead of our usual visit to the farmers’ market at the Rail Yard. The Community Farm is a group of fields and orchards owned by a 90+ year-old man who has contributed their use to the city. Volunteers do all of the work, and so the vegetables are not the perfect specimens that you find at the farmers’ market much less the supermarket. But the produce is put to good use. Most of it goes to the local food bank and a program of meals for house-bound clients. The farm has a public market every Sunday afternoon. We pulled into the driveway and were greeted by a group of volunteers clearly proud of their efforts: piles of fresh vegetables. We bought baskets of fragrant and colorful vegetables, and now we have to make some good stuff from the bounty.
There were lots of tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, and a red onion in our basket. What could be better to make than a summer soup of gazpacho? Actually, I am not a big fan of most gazpacho. It is often puréed into oblivion and resembles baby food. I much prefer to have identifiable vegetables and crusty garlic croutons. That’s what this recipe is.
- 6 ripe tomatoes, blanched, peeled, seeded, and coarsely chopped
- 1 medium cucumber, peeled and coarsely chopped
- 1 bell pepper, seeds removed and coarsely chopped
- 1 small red onion, peeled and coarsely chopped
- ½ cup minced parsley
- 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
- juice of 1 lemon
- juice of ½ lime
- ½ teaspoon sugar
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 4 cups chicken stock
- salt and pepper
- garlic croutons
- snipped chives (optional)
- sour cream (optional)
- In a large bowl, combine the tomatoes, cucumber, pepper, onion, parsley, and garlic.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, lime juice, sugar, and olive oil until well combined. Stir the mixture into the vegetables.
- Stir in the chicken stock. Chill, covered, in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours. Adjust seasoning with more lemon juice if desired, salt and pepper. Serve, topped with croutons. Garnish with snipped chives and sour cream if desired.