Gazpacho – The Recipe (Serves 6)
Gazpacho is a famous and deliciously refreshing cold soup that’s pretty much a staple in Spain in the warmer months. It’s easy to make, looks impressive and is budget food at its best. You need an electric blender though or you’ll be at it for hours! Here’s Louise’s tried and trusted recipe.
2 slices of white bread, crusts removed; 4 large ripe tomatoes (about 1kg), peeled; 1 big red pepper (keep about a third of it aside for garnish); ½ a cucumber, peeled (keep the other half for garnish); ½ onion (keep the other half for garnish); 1 small green and/or yellow pepper (only for garnish); 2 fat garlic cloves, peeled and chopped; 4 tbsp (60ml) olive oil; 2 tsp salt; ¼ tsp ground cumin; 5 tbsp (75ml) white vinegar; ¼ to ½ litre of water (optional).
Cover the bread with some water and soak to soften.
Cut the peeled tomatoes into chunks and stick it in the blender along with the garlic as well as the seeded peppers, cucumber and onion which have all cut into blocks. You probably need to do this in two batches as your blender won’t be big enough.
Once completely blended (no chunky bits), pour it across into a big bowl or tureen.
Squeeze the water out of the bread, put it in the blender and, with the motor running, add the olive oil in a slow and steady stream; blend till thoroughly mixed. Add the vinegar, cumin and salt and blend some more.
Ladle some of the tomato mix back into the blender and give it another whiz; pour that mix back into the tureen or bowl with the rest of the tomato liquid and mix thoroughly.
Taste to see if you’ve got enough salt and vinegar; add the water if you want a runnier gazpacho.
Chill till serving time. Garnish with chopped red, yellow and/or green pepper; some chopped tomato; chopped onion; chopped cucumber.
You can either serve it in soup bowls or in smaller glasses as part of a tapas menu.
Tips for making gazpacho
- You can use any white spirit vinegar but I like to use white balsamic vinegar because it adds a bit of sweetness.
- Try to use half-decent bread, not the suspiciously white pre-sliced stuff.
- Adding water at the end is totally optional – if you like a thick gazpacho omit the water.
- Blanching the chopped onion for your garnishing, then rinsing it in cold water and drying it, removes some of the sting but none of the crunch.
- Gazpacho is perfect picnic food – just pour it into a chilled flask.
- For a super-cool gazpacho at lunch or dinner, add some ice-cubes to each plate when you serve it.