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Recipes from Outside the Box: Multi-Colored Heirloom Gazpacho September 3, 2009

Heirloom Tomatoes

Heirloom Tomatoes

A complete smorgasbord of fruits and vegetables are available year-round in the grocery stores’ produce departments, but the negative effects of such a global food system on the environment and our health don’t seem worth the watery, flavorless results. As anyone who loves tomatoes knows: there is no better advertisement for the carbon-cutting benefits of choosing local produce over the vegetables that have been trucked hundreds of miles to the grocery store than a thick, juicy slice of a ripe tomato.

The height of August – when we would normally start dripping sweat just by looking outside – makes up for its miserably thick humidity by providing us the perfect conditions to grow a whole heckuvalot of tomatoes.  While you can pick up the standard slicers and red cherry tomatoes year-round in the produce aisle of the grocery store, the taste of a fresh, local tomato is truly unbeatable (and is guaranteed to make you turn up your nose at the ones sitting on the store shelves in December).  Plus something more unique awaits frequenters of the local farmers’ market stands: a full rainbow of unique heirloom varieties, from the rich pinks of Brandywines, to the dark Cherokee Purples, to the sunny Hearty Golds and Jean-Flamés.

One of my favorite ways to incorporate these tasty multi-colored fruits into my week’s meal plan is to add them to a simple gazpacho recipe.  By first puréeing fresh red tomatoes with onions, cucumbers, and peppers, you can create a bright pink soup base to add coarsely chopped heirloom tomatoes of several colors for an edible artist’s palette of ‘matery goodness.  Add a bunch of minced parsley, and you have the makings of a delightful summer dinner.

Multi-Colored Heirloom Gazpacho

Multi-Colored Heirloom Gazpacho

INGREDIENTS AND PROCEDURE:

SOUP BASE:

4-5 medium red tomatoes, chopped

1 medium cucumber, seeded, peeled and chopped

2 bell peppers, chopped

1 onion, chopped

1 jalapeño, chopped (can remove seeds to lower heat)

1 tbsp olive oil

2 tbsp red or white wine vinegar

1 tbsp honey (or other sweetener)

1 bunch of parsley, chopped

salt and pepper to taste

Place all ingredients for the soup base into a blender or food processor until smooth and liquid, about thirty seconds to a minute tops.  You can also reserve ½ – 1 cup of the chopped vegetables to add with the heirloom tomatoes if you prefer a chunky gazpacho.  Pour soup base into a large bowl.

ADD: 3-4 coarsely chopped heirloom tomatoes in a variety of colors.  I especially like to use one each of a yellow, green, and purple type.  Cover, and let the gazpacho rest in the refrigerator for at least an hour, but this soup’s flavor only improves the longer it sits.  It will be good to eat for several days, if you can make it last that long!

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11 Responses to “Recipes from Outside the Box: Multi-Colored Heirloom Gazpacho”

  1. Brittany Wangerin Says:

    I loved this article. This is the way I want to eat. I am 10 years old. Thank you for making this blog. Would love some ideas to put in my lunch box that are outside the box!!!)

    • eatingoutsidethebox Says:

      Brittany – so glad to hear you like the recipe. You’d have an incredibly colorful lunchbox with this soup in there :)

  2. [...] more to my liking*. For starters, I went over to my friend Marie’s house and had some lovely gazpacho. And then I made [...]

  3. Claire Evans Says:

    Word of the day – heckuvalot : ) This recipe sounds delicious, i can’t wait to try it out! thanks for the advice and keep the articles comin

    • eatingoutsidethebox Says:

      I’m trying to make it possible for people to eat enough tomatoes to turn red… or yellow or green or purple… then we could all be like characters in a great Dr. Seuss book. I thought about green eggs and ham when i made this soup with a green tomato!

  4. Claire Evans Says:

    Word of the Day – heckuvalot : ) this recipe sounds delicious! i can’t wait to try it out. Keep the articles coming!

  5. Sarah Hemme Says:

    Delish! I recommend adding some cilantro and green onions, too.

    • eatingoutsidethebox Says:

      That does sound good – thanks for the recommendations. I only have to wait a couple weeks for the cilantro to come back to try it out!

  6. [...] farmers’ market to find some unique heirloom tomato varieties not available in stores to make a Multi-Colored Heirloom Gazpacho soup!   Comments [...]

  7. They were really excellent.. I needed them in a hurry. I have a cooking recipe site as well and Id like to exchange links with you. Let me know if this is possible. Thanks.

    • eatingoutsidethebox Says:

      Of course! Sorry this response is so late (I was out of the country), but I would love to share! Thanks.


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