After hosting countless sunset dinner parties for friends and family, Lee, co-host of The Food Network's The Kitchen, compiled some of her favorite summer recipes and entertaining tips into the Endless Summer Cookbook released earlier this year.
"A chilled soup on a hot day is so refreshing. One of the farm stands I frequent, the Green Thumb, has a selection of the most beautiful heirloom tomatoes in their season. I thought the Green Zebras looked cool, so I bought a bunch of them, not knowing quite what I’d do with them. They served as a pretty centerpiece in a big wooden bowl on my counter until I figured it out: gazpacho. The avocado in this recipe adds an extra element of creaminess, and the lime juice evens out the flavors of the onion, garlic, and jalapeño. If I am serving it for an outdoor meal on a hot day, I like to stick the bowls in the freezer for a few minutes before ladling in the soup so it stays nice and cold," Katie Lee.
Katie Lee's gazpacho
2 pounds (910 g) Green Zebra tomatoes, cored and coarsely chopped, plus 1 Green Zebra tomato, cut into small wedges, for garnish
1 unpeeled seedless cucumber, coarsely chopped, plus 1 finely diced unpeeled cucumber for garnish
1 sweet onion, coarsely chopped
1 Hass avocado, chopped
1 small jalapeño, seeded
1 clove garlic
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons fresh mint leaves, chopped, plus more whole leaves for garnish
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro leaves
1/4 cup (60 ml) extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
In a blender, combine half of the coarsely chopped tomatoes, cucumber, and onion with the avocado, jalapeño, garlic, lime juice, and 1 cup cold water and blend until smooth. Transfer the puree to a large bowl.
Add the remaining coarsely chopped tomatoes, cucumber, and onion to the blender along with the mint, cilantro, and oil and pulse to a chunky puree. Add the puree to the bowl and stir well. Refrigerate the soup until well chilled, about 1 hour.
Season the soup with salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with tomato wedges, diced cucumber, and mint leaves, and finish with a drizzle of oil. Serve cold.