Gazpacho is so refreshing, the combination of the fresh tomato and cucumber is simply wonderful.
Don’t confuse gazpacho for tomato soup, even though the two are similar. Gazpacho is made with raw fresh tomatoes, the tomatoes are only put in boiling water for a few seconds so that you can peel the skin off the tomatoes. Tomato soup is made with cooked tomatoes and has a richer deeper flavor. Since gazpacho isn’t cooked, it is super fast to prepare. The most time-consuming part of this recipe is peeling and removing the seeds from the tomatoes. This is important because peeling the tomatoes and removing the seeds gives the gazpacho a smooth consistency. The seeds can also give gazpacho a slightly bitter taste. The task of seeding and peeling the tomatoes takes about 15 minutes, but once that is done the preparation time is just a couple minutes.
Start by peeling the tomatoes. To do this, cut small "x"s in the bottom of the tomatoes - you just want the cut to be deep enough to break the skin of the tomato. Remove the stems. Bring a pot of water to a boil, and prepare an ice bath. Place the tomatoes in the boiling water for 30-60 seconds, until the skin begins to peel. Then place the tomatoes in an ice bath for 5 minutes. Next, carefully peel the skin off the tomatoes.
To remove the seeds from the tomatoes, cut the tomatoes into quarters, hold the tomato quarters over a strainer inserted into a bowl, and push the seeds out into the strainer. Place the deseeded tomato in the bowl. Continue until all of the seeds have been removed from the tomatoes. Use a rubber spatula to push the seeds against the strainer so all of the juice goes into the bowl.
Peel the cucumber, slice it in half, and then use a spoon to scoop out all of the seeds from the center of the cucumber. Loosely chop the cucumber just so it will fit in a blender.
Place the tomato, cucumber, salt, pepper, cumin, cayenne, lime juice, sugar, and garlic into a blender. Mix until the gazpacho reaches an even consistency. Thin the gazpacho with 1-2 cups to tomato juice, until the gazpacho is as thick or thin as you desire.
Chill the gazpacho for 4 hours. Garnish with a swirl of olive oil, a sprinkle of ground black pepper, and some croutons.