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The perfect “Drinking Slaw” for July’s Heat

Still looking for a last-minute side dish? JOY’s recipe for Becker Gazpacho is a much-loved family classic my father Ethan serves every 4th of July. Served in a big bowl with ladles and 8-ounce glasses handy, this Spanish-by-way-of-Ohio cold soup is a refreshing alternative to coleslaw, especially if you are serving heavier, creamier dishes alongside. Plus, it’s great for serving outdoors in July heat: no spoiling, very refreshing.

Let’s be honest: this is not “real” gazpacho. This is my father Ethan’s, German, cabbage-heavy, umami-rich bastard gazpacho. Tomato juice, garlic, shredded cabbage, carrots, cukes, fresh herbs, and freshly ground black pepper (always a must for Dad), and a dash of hot sauce. Beef consommé can be replaced with vegetable stock, a concentrated mushroom broth, or miso broth… anything to give the soup that extra umami oomph.

Enjoy!

Becker Blender Gazpacho
about 12 cups

Combine in a large stainless steel bowl:
     One 46-ounce can tomato or tomato vegetable juice
     One 101⁄2-ounce can condensed beef consommé, undiluted
     Juice of 1 lemon or lime or 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
     2 tablespoons chopped basil
     (2 tablespoons chopped thyme)
     (1 tablespoon soy sauce)
     1 to 2 garlic cloves, minced
     1⁄4 to 1⁄2 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
Process in batches in a blender, until finely chopped (do not puree), and add to the bowl:
     1 cucumber, peeled, seeded, and coarsely chopped
     3 large carrots, cut into chunks
     1⁄2 head small purple cabbage, cored and cut into chunks
     1 bunch watercress, tough stems trimmed
     1 bunch scallions, trimmed, or 1 medium onion, cut into chunks
     (1⁄2 red or green bell pepper)
Season with:
     Salt and black pepper to taste
Cover and chill until very cold, 1 to 2 hours. Serve in chilled bowls or 8-ounce cups and pass:
     Large croutons or grilled, garlic-rubbed bread

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