Gazpacho, a chilled soup served in Spain and Latin America, is perfect to make with whatever’s in your summer garden. The sweet, juicy burst of ripe nectarine provides a welcome extra layer of flavor. Stone fruits and tomatoes really do get along so nicely when they’re in prime season, though I wouldn’t fault you for subbing in ripe cantaloupe if that’s what you have handy. I like my gazpacho extra-chunky because I like to look my perfectly ripe summer produce in the eye and hear it crunch. Who said vegetarian food couldn’t be a little animalistic?
The vegetables release a good deal of liquid when blended, so you might not even need to thin it out with tomato juice or V8. The scallion toasts bring a welcome bit of creamy richness and crunch to it all. Think of it as an outdoors-friendly spin on grilled cheese with tomato soup.
- 2 medium ripe tomatoes, sliced into quarters and cores cut out
- 1/2 English cucumber, or 2-3 small Persian or other edible-skinned cucumbers, roughly chopped
- 1/2 yellow bell pepper, seeded and roughly chopped
- 1/2 small red onion roughly chopped
- 1 small clove garlic, peeled and smashed
- 2 ripe nectarines (pitted), one roughly chopped, one cut into small cubes
- 1 1/2 tablespoons best-quality olive oil
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 2 tablespoons Spanish sherry vinegar
- 2 tablespoons fresh chopped mint
- 1 cup tomato juice or V8
- 6 to 8 1-inch-thick slices baguette
- 1/2 cup whipped cream cheese
- light and dark parts of one scallion, sliced (plus extra to garnish, if desired)
- a pinch of Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the gazpacho
Blend tomatoes, cucumber, bell pepper, onion, garlic, roughly chopped nectarine and olive oil until desired consistency. If you're going for a chunkier consistency, pulse instead of blending.
Stir in lemon zest, sherry vinegar, chopped mint, tomato juice and cubed nectarine. Season with salt and pepper to taste, then cover and refrigerate for at least 20 minutes and up to 6 hours.
For the scallion toasts
Toast the baguette slices to desired crispness, then set aside on a wire rack to cool slightly.
Meanwhile, mix the cream cheese and scallions in a small bowl until completely incorporated. Season with salt and pepper.
Spread the cream cheese on the toasts and serve with the gazpacho with extra scallions to garnish.