‘Hot Fun in the Summertime” has always been a radio hit during July and August.
Maggie Brousseau can offer an alternative — “Cold Soup in the Summertime” is a kitchen sensation during steamy weather.
Brousseau’s recipe for gazpacho, cold vegetable soup, is quick and easy.
“Primarily, it’s tomato and cucumber,” she said. “But it can have any vegetables if you don’t like either one of those. It’s also got green peppers and onions and a little bit of heat.”
The heat comes from cayenne pepper. Other supporting players include garlic, seasonings and tomato juice. “The tomato juice is in to add more volume,” Brousseau said.
The chef said gazpacho has always been considered a summer food. “It should be just as appetizing in the winter. We don’t think about cold soups in the winter; it’s just as refreshing. The cucumbers and the tomatoes are both really refreshing.”
This time of year, they’re both really available, too.
“The closer they are to being in season, people can just go out and grab their tomatoes and cucumbers from their gardens,” Brousseau said. “They’ll have the freshest soup in town.”
3 large tomatoes, peeled and diced
1⁄2 small onion, medium dice
1⁄2 green pepper, medium dice
1⁄2 red pepper, medium dice
1⁄2 cucumber, peeled, seeded, medium dice
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons olive oil and 1⁄2 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste
Cayenne pepper, to taste
1 quart tomato juice
Vegetable stock, as needed
Combine and purée all ingredients — except the tomato juice and vegetable stock — in food processor or blender. Then stir in the tomato juice. Adjust the consistency with the vegetable stock.
Adjust the seasonings. Chill at least 1 hour before service.
Serve in chilled cups or bowls garnished with fresh basil.
Makes 4 quarts.