Gazpacho is a cold soup originated in southern Spain was traditionally served at the end of a meal. This recipe features a happy marriage between the traditional, tomato-based Andalusian gazpacho and it’s richer creamier cousin Salmorejo. One summer in Spain with my father, who is a true epicure, introduced me to many different versions of gazpacho. This is by far one of my favourites.

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs ripe tomatoes (about 6 medium), cored
  • 1 small cucumber, peeled & seeded
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, cored and seeded
  • 3 medium garlic cloves, peeled and quartered
  • 1 slice of bread (french baguette or sourdough both work well), torn in 1-inch pieces
  • 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp. sherry vinegar
  • 1 pinch ground black pepper
  • 1/2 ts kosher salt

Instructions

  1. Place the bread in a bowl. Cover with cold water,  allow to sit for a few minutes.
  2. Drain and squeeze the water from the bread. Return the bread to the bowl, and place a strainer over the bowl.
  3. Half each peeled tomato, and squeeze out the seeds over the strainer.
  4. Rub the seed pods against the strainer to extract as much juice as you can. Discard the seeds.
  5. Chop the tomatoes coarsely. Add them to the bowl with the bread and tomato juice.
  6. Add garlic, 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, the vinegar and salt to taste. Gently toss ingredients together to mix well.
  7. Transfer to a blender, and blend at high speed until smooth. Taste and adjust seasoning, adding more salt and pepper if desired.
  8. Cover and chill for at least 2 hours.
  9. Pour into the bowl or glass to serve with a drizzle of olive oil.

Extra Touch

  • Garnish each bowl with finely diced cucumber or red bell pepper.

Variations

  • Serve the gazpacho  as a sauce with grilled scallop or crab meat; or as a dip with crudités.
  • For a thicker soup, add another ounce of bread.
  • For a thinner soup, add 1 4oz can of tomato juice.
  • For an extra kick, add a pinch of cayenne pepper to each bowl.

Make Ahead

  • This soup will keep for two days in the refrigerator. For best taste however, don’t add the garlic until a few hours before serving. Blend a cupful of the soup with the garlic, then whisk back into the rest of the soup before serving.