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Heirloom Tomato Gazpacho

heirloom-tomato-gazpacho-fore296

Sad about summer drawing to a close come Labor Day?  If there’s one silver lining to the season’s inevitable end, it’s this — vine-ripe tomatoes are at their glorious, juicy peak.  So make the most of intriguing heirloom varieties like smoky Black Pear, smooth Yellow Valencia, sweet Sungold and tart Green Zebra by combining them in a scrumptious cold Gazpacho, just bursting with summer freshness and flavor!

Heirloom Tomato Gazpacho
(Serves 8)

Ingredients:
1 small white onion, cut into chunks
1 large clove garlic, peeled
1 large red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and cut into chunks
3 pounds mixed heirloom tomatoes, halved and seeded, plus 2 cups of cut, assorted tomatoes for garnish
2 to 3 cups tomato juice
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more to taste
1 teaspoon black pepper, plus more to taste
Pinch of cayenne pepper, plus more to taste
1/4 cup olive oil, for drizzling

Directions:
In a blender or the bowl of a food processor fitted with knife blade, mince onion and garlic until almost pureed. Transfer to a large bowl. Place bell pepper in food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped. Add tomatoes in batches and continue to pulse until almost pureed.

Transfer tomato-pepper mixture to bowl containing onion and garlic mixture. Stir in 2 cups of tomato juice.  The mixture should have the consistency of thick soup; to make thinner, add 1 more cup of juice. Stir in vinegar, salt, pepper, and cayenne. Refrigerate until chilled. Adjust seasoning to taste.

Divide into bowls, and top with fresh, chunked tomatoes.  Drizzle with olive oil to serve.

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