Chilled Red Gazpacho


When summer comes, two things are certain: it’s hotter than a firecracker lit from both ends and there’s a big ‘ol pitcher of Chilled Red Gazpacho in my fridge.

Chilled Red Gazpacho - This is a perfect way to use up fresh tomatoes when they’re in season.

Gazpacho is a chilled vegetable soup from Spain. The word gazpacho originates from the Latin word caspa, which means “little pieces,” or something like that.  Chilled soup might sound a little strange if you’ve never enjoyed one.

But there are five good reasons why cold soups, like Chilled Red Gazpacho, are becoming so popular

  1. They’re easy to make. Most can be done in a blender or food processor.
  1. All the vegetables (or fruit!) that you’ll need are usually in season, so you can enjoy them anytime of the year.
  1. They’re the ultimate “grab-and-go” snack or meal. Fill a covered tumbler or mug with this deliciousness and sip away!
  1. They’re made with vegetables (and fruit!) so you know you’re doing something good for yourself.
  1. They’re the perfect make-ahead meal. Double the recipe and you’ll have something for dinner tonight, lunch tomorrow and a little bit left over as an appetizer for guests.

There are many types of Gazpacho, but the most familiar is this recipe for Chilled Red Gazpacho, made with fresh tomatoes. This is a perfect way to use up fresh tomatoes when they’re in season. And, if fresh tomatoes aren’t available, use canned San Marazano tomatoes. ONLY San Marazano tomatoes.

I like to serve the Chilled Red Gazpacho with finely diced tomatoes, cucumbers, red and green bell peppers and toasted bread croutons.


Chilled Red Gazpacho - Gazpacho is a chilled vegetable soup from Spain. The word gazpacho originates from the Latin word caspa, which means “little pieces.”


Use fresh tomatoes when making this Chilled Red Gazpacho

Hatch Chile Aïoli with Fried Green Tomatoes


Hatch Green Chile Aioli with Fried Green Tomatoes

Here’s one recipe you really need to know how to make: aïoli (pronounced “eye-oh-lee”).

Why do you need this creamy garlic-infused sauce in your kitchen know-how arsenal? Because it’s one of those condiments that can bring a little zip to so many dishes… and there are little ways you can change it to give it a bit more “WOW.”

Like when I added a few roasted Hatch Chiles.

I made Fried Green Tomatoes to go with my Hatch Chile Aïoli. But you can serve this full-flavored sauce with fish or chicken… or add a spoonful or two on top of fresh steamed vegetables to give them a kick.

Making aïoli is similar to making homemade mayonnaise, but a lot easier if you use a food processor or blender. Speaking of mayo, I sometimes use Hatch Chile Aïoli instead of mayonnaise in potato salad for a real taste sensation!


Like this recipe? Then you’ll love Red Chile Sauce (Salsa de Chile Guajillo)

Extra Helpings: Freezing Lemons?


Vonna asks: I recently read on the Internet that you can freeze a lemon and when you need it, take it out of the freezer and grate it… skin, seeds and all. No waste! Does this work? Can I use the grater on my food processor to do the same thing?

I’d never heard of this, Vonna, so I headed to the kitchen to test.

1. Yes, this does “work,” and you can grate the frozen lemon in your food processor.

2. Don’t waste your time or your lemons. You aren’t going to find the tart, bright taste you desire. Instead, you’ll find bitterness and an unpleasant aftertaste… like how the losing candidate is going to feel on November 7.

The problem with the freezing/grating method is that you end up eating the entire lemon… including seeds and white pith. The white pith is what contributes to the bitterness.

Have you ever “zested” a lemon? The outside yellow layer of the lemon, the zest, contains all of the fragrant oils. When you zest, you are supposed to remove only that layer and not any of the white pith underneath.

Unless they’re using a lemon sliced or halved as a garnish, restaurants usually zest whole lemons first and squeeze out the remaining juice, tossing out the leftover white pith. (Good to know: It’s pretty hard to zest a lemon when it is already halved.)

Lemon juice and zest can be frozen… but I’ll explain that (and how to zest) in the next Extra Helpings post.

Here are a few more lemon tips:

• Wrap uncut zested lemons in plastic wrap and refrigerate. They’ll keep for about a week.

• To get the most juice out of a lemon (zested or unzested), bring it to room temperature and roll it under your palm to soften the fruit and get the juices moving.

• If you don’t have citrus juicer or reamer, cut the lemon in half and twist the tines of a fork into the lemon.

Bonus Bonanza: Besides being a flavor enhancer, lemon juice added to water can be an appetite suppresser. Plus, lemons are  loaded with vitamin C, the antioxidant that helps fight heart disease, cancer and inflammation.

So grab a lemon… and start squeezing… not freezing!


I’m Christina Chavez

I was a TV journalist for many years, but with a house full of kids I decided to come off the road, go to culinary school and follow my passion for cooking. Mama’s High Strung is all about food… everything from creative recipe ideas to some really cool kitchen gadgets and cooking tips. I live in Chicago, but I love to travel and write about my food discoveries! You can reach me by email: