I don’t like soup. So I guess posting a recipe for a soup is a little counterintuitive to that thought, but Gazpacho will always be ordered if I see it upon a menu.
I remember ordering it in a Spanish restaurant just off the beach of Ipanema, in Rio. It came pre-made in a small bottle, brought over to the table from the chiller. Even so, as it was poured out you could smell the tomatoes and garlic, then taste the tartness of the vinegar cutting through. Of course, a cold dish in 40C heat always helps.
Let’s get started:
- 1 kg fresh tomatoes
- 1 green pepper
- 1 cucumber
- 2 shallots
- 2 handfuls stale white bread (no crusts).
Peel and roughly chop the ingredients. Pop them into a blender, and blitz. Take 1/4 of the mix and spoon into a bowl – this wil act as the texture. Push the remaining mush through a fine sieve into the same bowl , working through the liquid with a back of a spoon – before discarding the remaining solids.
- 3 garlic cloves
- 2 tbsp sherry vineger
- 2 tbsp EV Olive Oil
Smash the garlic cloves with a good pinch of sea salt to make a paste – mix with the sherry vinegar & oil & a good sprinkle of fresh-ground black pepper. Add to the soup, then chill for 2 hours in the fridge.
Taste once ready, and adjust the oil / vinegar balance. Job done.
This is a great make-ahead soup that you can whip out of the fridge when you get home from work, or if you’re entertaining as your guests arrive.
If you like a bit of spice in life, as I do, feel free to throw in a chilli during the blitz-stage; or even at the garlic-stage, diced for a bit more chunkiness.
I love the buzz of the vinegar, but if you’re not sure then start with 1 tbsp vinegar as you can always add more. But make sure you taste after the chilling stage, since that’s how it will be served – so adjust the vinegar at that point (not before the fridge).