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