Gazpacho - Spanish Tomato Soup
This recipe is for a traditional Andalusian gazpacho. Because of the simplicity of the dish, you will absolutely taste the difference if you use inferior products. We recommend spending a little extra money and buying the best produce you can find. Gazpacho is a summer dish in Spain and really only lives up to it's full potential when tomato season is in full swing.
- 8 ripe tomatoes (about 2.5 lbs)
- 1 Italian green pepper (not to be confused with a bell pepper, Italian green peppers are much longer and thinner than a bell pepper)
- 1 medium cucumber, peeled
- 1 clove of garlic, peeled with core removed
- ¾ cup extra virgin olive oil
- ¾ cup chilled water
- ¼ cup vinagre de Jerez (sherry vinegar)
- stale bread (about 4 inches off the end of a baguette)
- additional chopped veggies - sweet white onion, cucumber, green Italian pepper, tomato (optional)
- croutons (optional)
- Chop the tomatoes into 4-6 pieces each, discard the cores.
- De-seed and core the pepper and chop into 10-15 pieces.
- Chop the cucumber into thick rounds.
- Add the tomato, pepper, cucumber, garlic, water, oil and vinegar into a blender and blend until smooth.
- Once blended, pour the mixture through a fine strainer to get rid of any thick pulp and bits of tomato and pepper skin.
- Return the strained soup to the blender and crumble in bread bit by bit, checking throughout the process to determine when the texture is to your liking.
- Once the bread is blended in and the soup is as thick as you'd like it, season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Transfer the soup to a large bowl or pitcher, cover and refrigerate for at least an hour.
- Serve cold with garnishes to your liking and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.
Some people peel their tomatoes before blending and skip straining. That works fine, but we prefer to strain regardless. If you don't have a blender, you can still make this recipe with a food processor or hand blender. If you use a hand blender, it will take longer to blend all of the ingredients and we recommend starting with about half of the ingredients and then adding the rest once the first half is blended. Also, you will have to strain and re-blend several times to get a really smooth consistency using a hand blender.