There is no better way to be welcomed home than fresh bounty from a backyard garden!  

Since we've been home in Santa Barbara, Hubby and I have received three beautiful baskets at our doorstep filled with gorgeous vegetables and fruits.  I've been a little deprived of fresh homegrown produce in the last year... so... having that delivered to my doorstep by friends and family has been a real treat.  

Santa Barbara has very mild, temperate weather which means we can have awesome homegrown produce year round.  In fact, we have the climate to grow more winter crops than summer.  I have to say, I've really missed tending a garden and enjoying the fruits of my labors.  

I can't wait to provision Green Flash with fresh local ingredients.  It will truly be "garden to galley"... either my garden or the many local farmers I will have to choose from in my area.  I'm already dreaming and planning my culinary creations for our next adventure... chartering Green Flash in Santa Barbara and the Channel Islands!

The three baskets I received were just overflowing with these red beauties and cucumbers.  I knew right away Gazpacho would be the perfect cool and refreshing soup for the very warm days we've been having here on the West Coast.  It's like drinking a salad!

There are many versions of this lovely Spanish cold soup.  I adapted my recipe from Cooks Illustrated.  Just today in my cooking class we made a Yogurt and Cucumber Gazpacho from Alain Ducasse, the world-renowned French master chef.  It was equally as tasty, just different.

You can serve Gazpacho as a light lunch or dinner in bowls or in shot glasses as an appetizer.  Garnish with cilantro, cucumbers, avocado and yellow peppers or choose your own.  Gazpacho is so easy to prepare.  The ingredients are simple and all you need is a blender.


Recipe Type:  Soup

Serves:  4 to 6


  • 2 Pounds Tomatoes, roughly chopped and core removed
  • 1 Red Pepper, roughly chopped & seeds removed
  • 1 Cucumber, peeled & roughly chopped
  • 1/4 C Yellow or Sweet Onion, chopped
  • 1 Garlic Clove
  • 1 T fresh Lime Juice
  • 2 C Tomato Juice
  • 1 tsp Kosher Salt, or to taste
  • 1/2 tsp Red Pepper Flakes
  • 1/2 tsp freshly Ground Pepper
  • 1 tsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 3 T Red Wine Vinegar

For the Garnish

  • 2 T Cucumber, chopped
  • 1/4 C Yellow Pepper, chopped 
  • 1/2 Avocado, cut into small pieces 
  • 2 T fresh Cilantro (or other herb), chopped


  1. Add Tomatoes, Pepper, Cucumber, Onion, Garlic Clove, Lime Juice, Tomato Juice, Olive Oil, and Herbs into a blender and blend until smooth.  If your blender is small, you may have to blend half at a time.
  2. Add the the seasonings (Salt, Pepper, Red Pepper Flakes, Red Wine Vinegar) slowly and adjust to taste.
  3. Chill for 2 to 4 hours, or overnight.
  4. Garnish with chopped Yellow Pepper, Cucumber, Avocado and Cilantro, Black Pepper and a drizzle of Olive Oil just before serving.