I used to make Gazpacho completely from scratch. Then a couple of summers ago I improvised a “quick and dirty” recipe on a sweltering summer night. Having received a big thumbs up from Chuck, I never looked back. Be warned, if you are a Gazpacho purist, stop reading now. Or, if you require precise measurements in a recipe, you too should skip this one. But if you like to wing it in the kitchen and a recipe is just a jumping off point --- enjoy!
2 cans of Del Monte Stewed Tomatoes, already chilled
Yes, cans - I warned you! ;o)
(14 1/2 oz. each Original Recipe with onions, celery & green peppers)
Cucumber - small dice
Celery - small dice
Green Pepper - small dice
V8 Vegetable Juice (tomato based) - chilled
Splash of your favorite hot sauce
Dump the cans of stewed tomatoes into a bowl and using an immersion (stick) blender, pulse the tomatoes to break them into very small pieces. Do not puree. Add the lime juice and the four dried spices. Stir and set the bowl in the refrigerator to keep chilling. Dice the cucumbers, celery and green peppers (amounts are up to you) and add to the tomato mixture. Stir. Add V8 until you achieve the desired “soupy” consistency and balance of liquid to diced bits. Taste. Adjust spices and add a splash of your favorite hot sauce if desired. Serve chilled.
You can make and serve this immediately, if you had a couple of cans of the stewed tomatoes in the refrigerator. Or make it ahead and allow all the flavors to marry. We enjoy it served with thin, white corn tortilla chips.