I love Gazpacho – this chilled traditional Spanish soup that is so refreshing, so healthy, so good!! Whenever I am traveling in Spain, this is my preferred lunch choice. And on a hot summer day back home I sometimes get a craving and hurry to the market to get all the fresh ingredients needed. The taste of gazpacho (as with most dishes) depends a great deal on the freshness and flavor of its ingredients. Ripe and flavorful tomatoes are a must. Try to get local ones, or if you can heirloom tomatoes.
There are a variety of gazpacho recipes – this one here is my favorite:
Ingredients (for 3-4 appetizer-size servings)
1 1/2 pounds ripe tomatoes (for a more extravagant color you may try yellow tomatoes)
1 red bell pepper (if you go with yellow tomatoes, use a yellow one)
4 cherry tomatoes (or small heirloom tomatoes)
3-4 sprigs cilantro, plus some extra leaves for garnish
1 clove garlic
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper
1. Blanch the tomatoes in boiling water for 30 second. Cool the tomatoes in a bowl of ice water a few minutes. Use your fingers to slip of their skin. Remove the cores and stem ends and chop them coarsely.
2. Finely dice about two tablespoons worth of unpeeled cucumber and set aside for garnish. Peel the rest of the cucumber and coarsely chop.
3. Remove the seeds and stem from the bell pepper, finely dice about two tablespoons (for garnish) and chop the rest.
4. Using a blender or handheld blender, purée the tomatoes, cucumber, bell pepper, cilantro, garlic, vinegar, olive oil and salt and pepper until smooth. If the soup is too thick, add some cold water.
5. Chill in the refrigerator. You can keep the gazpacho for a day or two at least – as with most soups it becomes better with some time when the flavors had some time to mingle and fully unfold.
6. Serve in chilled bowls, and scatter the cucumber and bell pepper dices over the gazpacho. Cut cherry tomatoes in half and place in the center of each bowl. Add some cilantro leaves.
I love the idea of freezing gazpacho and serving it as an appetizer sorbet as suggested on delicious:days. Check it out – it looks great. I’ll definitely try that soon.