This dish comes in handy for luncheons in summer since it's so colorful and refreshing. I prepare it a day ahead using garden vegetables. The flavor gets even better as it sits in the refrigerator overnight.
-Pat Waymire, Yellow Springs, Ohio
Entertaining is a big part of a military wife's life—my husband was a career Army man—so my soup got much use! It's a great cool-down after Mexican food, but I've also served it with butter cookies at a baby shower.
We're now retired here in the Utah Rockies. Both of our sons are grown.
Gazpacho is common fare here in the Southwest, and its variations are numerous. This one is simple, inexpensive, healthful and delicious. It works well as an appetizer, brunch dish or accompaniment to any meat entree. I prefer to make the tomato base the night before, but I've also made it early in the morning for serving with that night's supper.
Betty Nickels of Tampa, Florida combines crunchy fresh veggies with black beans and a splash of hot pepper sauce to create this spicy chilled soup. "I often server this during the warm summer months, when tomatoes are in season," Betty writes. "It tastes best when you let it mellow overnight in the refrigerator."
From Sharon Delaney-Chronis in South Milwaukee, Wisconsin: "When I first prepared this change-of-pace soup for a party, everyone called it a hit! My husband always likes it warmed up, but I prefer my soup chilled. Any leftovers, we drizzle over frozen custard for a fresh, fruity topping."