By Laura Swanson
No matter how you spell it — Gaspacho or Gazpacho — it’s a deliciously easy summer time picnic meal that sounds exotic and gourmet. It does have lots of flavor, is packed with veggies, but the most “difficult” part is chopping, and waiting for the soup to chill.
Gaspacho, originating in Spain, is a cold soup with a tomato base, loaded with shrimp and fresh vegetables. Yes, a cold soup. This is the best time of year to make gaspacho when FRESH bay (or salad) shrimp are available. These small shrimp (most often used in salads, also called cocktail shrimp or shrimp meat) are available year round frozen. Just like vegetables and other seafood and fish, there is a “season” when its available fresh — which is right now. As with fresh seafood, it isn’t available fresh for long, and it is usually on sale as well. It’s worth getting several pounds to make a variety of tasty (and again easy!) dishes and to also freeze your own supply for meals throughout the summer. Be sure to allow plenty of time for this to chill.
Prep time about 15 minutes.
Allow at least an hour for the soup to “chill”.
1 quart (16 oz.) tomato juice, or Clamato, or V8
1 cup chopped, peeled cucumber
2/3 cup chopped green onions
6 to 8 ounces cooked bay shrimp
4 ounces cubed cream cheese (optional)
1 peeled, diced ripe avocado
2 TBS. vegetable oil
2 TBS. red wine vinegar
2 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. dried dill weed
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ tsp. tabasco sauce (or any hot pepper sauce) â€“ to taste
Options: You could also add sweet peppers, zucchini, fresh tomatoes, garnish with cilantro.
- Place all ingredients into a large, glass bowl.
- Mix well and chill for one hour or more.
Serve with a crusty sourdough bread.