Fresh Tomato Gazpacho

Prep: 35 minutes Cook: 13 minutes Chill: 3 hours

Serves:4-6

There are a lot of varieties of gazpacho: white, red, yellow, and green; Spanish, Mexican, Tex-Mex, Italian, and even fruit-based gazpachos. The word "gazpacho" translates into English as 'salad soup', and what better way to describe this refreshing veggie delight? I make and serve many varieties of gazpacho during the warm summer months. They keep well in the refrigerator for a couple of days and are a simple, cool meal with a loaf of bread and/or a salad from my garden.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound fresh mushrooms, cut in half, then sliced
  • 3/4 cup vegetable broth or water
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce (optional)
  • 3/4 cup thinly sliced onion wedges, separated
  • 8 tomatoes, chopped (reserve as much juice as you can)
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1 1/2 cups hearts of palm, chopped ( 14.5 ounce can, drained)
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
  • several twists freshly ground pepper
  • hot sauce to taste

Directions

Place mushrooms in a large non-stick frying pan with 1/4 cup of the vegetable broth or water, and the soy sauce. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for five minutes. Remove from heat, drain, reserving the liquid, and set aside in a large bowl.

Place the remaining 1/4 cup of the vegetable broth or water in the frying pan with the onion. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for about three minutes, until onions are translucent and most of the liquid has evaporated. Remove from heat and add to mushrooms.

Place tomatoes and their juice in the frying pan with the lime juice and the ketchup. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for five minutes. Remove from heat and add to mushrooms and onions. Add hearts of palm and cilantro. Mix well, cover and refrigerate at least three hours to allow flavors to blend.

Before serving, taste the chilled soup and add several twists of freshly ground pepper, hot sauce to taste and about two to three tablespoons of the reserved liquid from cooking the mushrooms.

Hint: This is better if you make it a day ahead of time and refrigerate for 24 hours before serving.