Gazpacho

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Gazpacho is a popular Spanish soup originating from Andalusia.  It is made with raw vegetables and is very popular in the hot summer months as it is eaten cold.  Although a raw, cold soup doesn’t sound very appetising, I promise you this is delicious and a must for every summer menu.

 Gazpacho has changed throughout the years from it’s origins with the first gazpacho’s being made using stale bread, olive oil, garlic, water and vinegar.  These ingredients were pounded together in a mortar and later almonds and different vegetables were added.  The soup has evolved,  and the most popular recipe is tomato based. In Andalusia, most gazpacho recipes typically include stale bread, tomato, cucumber, bell pepper, onion and garlic, olive oil, wine vinegar, water, and salt.  I have omitted the bread (because I wanted to avoid eating bread), and I also omitted the garlic. (Personal choice).  I like to have a jug of Gazpacho in the fridge, and I’ll help myself to a glass at any time of the day really.  While ingredients, texture, and how thick the gazpacho is made vary regionally and between families I threw all the ingredients in my KitchenAid blender and blended it until I was happy with a smooth consistency.

(Although I have provided the recipe I used, I often don’t weigh anything… I buy the ingredients I need, and then just blend it all together, adjusting to taste).

Gazpacho

  • 500g ripe tomatoes (I used small pachino tomatoes)
  • 1 medium cucumber
  • 600ml tomato juice
  • 1 medium red or green bell pepper (I used red)
  • 1 small red onion
  • 2 celery stalks
  • 60ml extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

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  1. Wash all vegetables.
  2. If using medium sized tomatoes, they should be halved and seeded. (I do not bother removing the skins).
  3. Peel the cucumber, cut it into quarters and remove seeded centre.
  4. Cut up pepper, removing all seeds.
  5. Add all ingredients to blender and blend until smooth. (water may be added if soup is too thick but I didn’t find this was necessary).
  6. Taste & adjust seasoning as required.
  7. Store in refrigerator and serve chilled.
  8. Garnish with finely chopped basil, crunchy croutons and freshly cracked black pepper.

You can also garnish the Gazpacho with some finely chopped cucumber, pepper, parsley or coriander.  While gazpacho is served in bowls and eaten as one would eat any soup… with a spoon, I have always been fond of enjoying hot soups in a mug, so naturally I’m just as happy to enjoy my gazpacho in a fancy wine glass!

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