In the past, I've always had a fairly nice vegetable garden with around 12 tomato plants. Last year finally did me in with the lack of rain, deer and squirrel issues and the bugs, that I did not put the garden in this year. I had so many tomatoes that I was constantly trying to come up with recipes. Since Dan hates cucumbers, gazpacho was out. But I wanted an alternative and here is what I came up with. It's a great starter or it works well with a salad for your evening meal. To make gazpacho add 1/2 pound of peeled and seeded chopped cucumber. For a smooth version of the soup, process in a food processor in batches to desired consistency.
Fresh Tomato Soup
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tsp. sea salt
1 1/2 lbs. vine ripened tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
2 scallions, chopped
1/2 jalapeno or whole hot cherry pepper, finely chopped
fresh ground black pepper
2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1 1/2 cups tomato juice, chilled
Mix all of the ingredients in a large bowl. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour (3 is perfect).