Andalusian Gazpacho ~ gazpacho is the perfect meal if you’re in stuck the grip of a heatwave. Gather up the best produce from your garden, csa box, or the nearest market and clear the chopping block. Plug in your processor or blender and you’re halfway there.
You can find lots of recipes for this traditional Spanish soup on the Internet, but this kind of simple soup doesn’t really require a recipe, it’s very forgiving. The basis for gazpacho is red ripe tomatoes, bell pepper, red onion, and cucumber blended into a soup with a smooth or chunky texture. Good olive oil, sherry vinegar, garlic, salt and pepper flavor the soup. I added lemon, mint and basil. The important thing is to let it sit for an hour or two (or overnight) to let the flavors develop and so it has a chance to get really really cold. After all, that’s the whole point.
It starts with a nice pile of ripe red tomatoes. Use the best you can find, they will form the base of the soup.
You also need some colorful bell peppers…
some crunchy cukes…
and a red onion.
Add some garlic, a little or a lot, it’s up to you.
Mix the vegetables together and then blend them in a blender or food processor in batches. I do it in 3 batches and vary the degree of blending with each batch so that my soup will have some texture but a smooth base.
|The first batch is processed till smooth|
|The second batch has a little more texture|
|The third is chunky, like Pico de Gallo|
Serve the soup as is, or garnish with a little yogurt or sour cream. I like to serve gazpacho in glass bowls so you can appreciate its beauty. If you didn’t have time to chill the soup thoroughly, serve it with an ice cube in the center (this is very authentic!) If you’re really hot, chill the bowls as well.
This is the most refreshing soup imaginable ~ the hotter the day, the better it tastes!
- 4-5 ripe red tomatoes, rough chopped
- 1/2 red bell pepper, seeded and rough chopped
- 1/2 green bell pepper, seeded and rough chopped
- 1/2 cucumber, peeled and rough chopped
- 1/2 red onion, peeled and rough chopped
- 1 clove garlic
- a handful of fresh basil, finely chopped
- a handful of fresh mint, finely chopped
- 1/3 to 1/2 cup olive oil
- 2 to 4 Tbsp sherry vinegar
- juice of 1/2 lemon
- fresh pepper
- Mix the tomatoes, peppers, onion and cucumber together and then blend them in a blender or food processor in batches. I do it in 3 batches and vary the degree of blending with each batch so that my soup will have some texture but a smooth base.
- Put the processed veggies back in the large bowl. Now it's time to season your soup. The amounts above are approximate: taste as you go and use what you like.
- Stir to blend, then cover with plastic wrap and put your soup in the refrigerator for a couple of hours or overnight.