For beating the heat in the summertime ATL, nothing succeeds quite as well as a cold bowl of fresh gazpacho, which is a Spanish tomato soup made of chopped peppers, onions, cucumbers, garlic and sherry vinegar.
Many of the recipes you find will include green bell peppers, but this is one ingredient I do not like in my gazpacho. It’s too bitter and doesn’t complement the acidic tomatoes like sweet red and yellow peppers. Most recipes also call for some degree of blending after you’ve chopped all the veggies. This one (from Cooks Illustrated) was a pure chop but after some experimentation, Kristin and I both agreed that blending about half of the veggies gives you just the right texture, and it saves a ton of time on the chop!
Here’s a quick tip: always chop peppers and tomatoes skin side down. If your knife isn’t razor sharp, you’ll crush the tomato before it cuts, so placing the skin side against the cutting board gives you a chance to slice through the meat before you cut the skin. (That sounds kind of violent, doesn’t it?)
Have fun. Eat well.