Summer will be here soon, and that means, it’ll be sweltering hot outside (like if spring weather isn’t already hot enough — at least here in Texas, it is). You can jump into a pool to cool down, eat a popsicle, or make some fresh, healthy gazpacho to beat the summer heat.

Gazpacho hails from the Spanish region of Andalusia, where hot summers prompt the best of chefs to cool down guests with gazpacho — raw, cold soup.

Choosing the freshest summer produce and the ripest tomatoes, gazpacho incorporates a variety of flavors and is packed with nutrition. Slurp down some healthy, refreshing, and cool gazpacho, while you soak up some sun.

Here are simple steps to get you started:

1. Find the Ripest and Juiciest Tomatoes

Tomatoes make the base of gazpacho — the soup is, more or less, cold tomato soup. To make gazpacho, you will need 1 1/2 to 2 pounds of the ripest and juiciest tomatoes you can find. Wash, peel, and chop them into chunks. Add them to your blender.

Tomatoes are in season during the summer and finding the best ones for your soup shouldn’t be too difficult. For reference, 1 1/2 to 2 pounds of tomatoes will make between 4 to 6 servings.

 2. Prep Summer Vegetables

Here’s the fun part: prep whatever summer produce suits you. A good mix of vegetables include bell peppers, celery, onion, and cucumbers. However, there are many recipes that call for special ingredients, like bread, corn kernels, avocado, tomatillos, and nuts like almonds. Pick and choose what you like and prep them. Wash and chop the vegetables and other specialty ingredients. Add them to your blender.

For reference, 1/2 to 1 of each vegetable will suffice. For bread, 1 slice should be enough. For nuts, a handful or more precisely 1/3 cup should be good.

3. Add Spices, Herbs, & Extras

After you’ve prepped your tomatoes and other summer produce, add the spices, herbs, and extras. A good mix garlic, parsley, chives, olive oil, vinegar (red wine, sherry, or balsamic), lemon or lime juice, salt, pepper, sugar, tomato juice, and tabasco. Play around with the ingredients and add as much or as little as you desire. Try something new and add some cumin, smoked paprika, or chile powder for an added kick.

4. Blend It

This is perhaps the easiest step of them all. Blend it! Mix the vegetables, spices, and herbs into a big liquid soup. Blend to your desired consistency.

5. Garnish

Serve your amazing gazpacho right away with slices of avocado on top. Or whatever topping your heart desires. If there are left overs, ensure you place them into a non-metal container and place it into the fridge. Enjoy!

Here are two not-so-average gazpacho recipes to try (that don’t follow the classic recipe above):

Watermelon Gazpacho

Watermelon Gazpacho

 Raw White Gazpacho Soup




Lead image source: Watermelon Gazpacho