It's hot out, folks. So, in part one of my Hot Summer Sunday Supper from Spain, that classic Andalusian cold soup: Gazpacho. Throwing all caution to the wind, we ate us lots of raw tomatoes. This also served as a detoxifier of sorts, after a long weekend of gluttony that included fantastic BBQ and ginormous donuts. By the time that 3rd day of the weekend rolled around, we were juicing veggies and bemoaning our gustatory abandon.
Luckily, gazpacho is low on effort and high on flavor. I've spent some time in Spain, tasted dozens of gazpachos, and it varied so much from place to place that in all honesty I'm not sure what the absolute classic should really be like. But I tend to like a little bit of chunkiness, the bite from garlic and onion, the freshness of lots of cucumber. So here's my take. Recipe after the jump:
2 pounds ripe tomatoes, peeled, seeded and diced
1 1/2 cups cucumber, peeled and diced
1 cup red onion, diced
1 red pepper, roughly chopped
2 cloves garlic
kosher salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 pound country style bread, crusts removed
1 cup water
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil, preferably a fruity Spanish oil
2 tbsp white wine vinegar
1/2 tsp ground cumin
Chopped cucumber, tomatoes, red onions, parsley, bell pepper, or hard boiled egg.
Drizzle with olive oil.
1. Soak bread in 1 cup water for about 30 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, in food processor or blender, process tomatoes, cucumber, bell pepper and garlic until no large pieces remain.
3. Squeeze bread dry; crumble. Mix bread with oil, vinegar, salt and cumin. Add to vegetable mixture; blend. If gazpacho is too thick, add a little water. Taste for seasoning; if desired, add more salt and cumin.
4. Force gazpacho through strainer or food mill if desired. Refrigerate 2 to 4 hours or until very well chilled before serving.
5. Serve in glasses as a beverage or in bowls as a soup with desired garnishes.