Make this easy summer soup using your fresh garden tomatoes, those you buy from a nearby farmer, or the big slicing beauties from Streamline Farms. Heirlooms like Marvel Stripe and Brandywine are worth seeking out for their flavor as well as beautiful color. The quality of your tomatoes is everything here, but it doesn’t matter what mix you use— some cherry tomatoes, some bigger ones, stray bits of tomato leftover after taking the middle slices for a BLT—toss them all into the food processor.
5 medium-sized, ripe garden tomatoes, approximately 2 pounds
1 cucumber, peeled and cut in a few large pieces
¼ red onion, finely diced
2 ribs fresh celery, peeled and diced
1 tablespoon lemon juice, freshly squeezed and strained of pulp
3 tablespoons sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
½ teaspoon kosher salt or sea salt
Wash and dry all your vegetables. Before you get chopping, you’ll want to have some attractive, tiny-diced tomato, cucumber, and red onion to stir into the soup as a garnish. Start by making these tiny-dices—about 2 tablespoons of tomato, and a tablespoon each of the cucumber and red onion—and set them aside on a plate. As you’re doing this, toss the odd-sized bits into the food processor, setting aside the tomato cores and stems for compost.
Roughly chop the remaining tomatoes and cucumber; add them to the processor along with the remaining diced red onion and celery. Pulse until combined, then process until everything is combined into a rough purée.
Note that if you are using a blender, particularly a Vitamix, take care not to overprocess the ingredients. Keep the power level down low so you preserve some texture rather than making a smoothie.
Pour the blended vegetables into a large ceramic or glass bowl and drizzle in the lemon juice, vinegar, and olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and stir to combine. Stir in the reserved tiny-diced vegetables and serve. It will be extra special if served with fresh diced avocado. Gazpacho is best enjoyed the day it’s made, but refrigerated leftovers will be enjoyable for a couple days.