Friday, June 21, 2013

Gazpacho (chilled tomato soup)

Gazpacho is the ultimate summer dish. It's not only cold and refreshing to eat, it's also cold and refreshing to make, as it doesn't require turning on the oven or stove.
It is quite an easy dish as long as you have a good blender or food processor. Without either one, it's quite a lot of work and won't have quite the right texture.

There are lots of versions of gazpacho out there, but I used this one as my base.

Here I garnished it with finely diced cucumbers and onions as well as some lightly browned almond slivers, but you can garnish it with lots of other things.

Gazpacho is at it's best if allowed to rest overnight in the fridge, so that all the flavors combine. But you can eat it as soon as it's ready if you like.


Ingredients (for 4-6 portions): 

- About 6 medium tomatoes (1 kilo/2 lbs), preferably very red and ripe. 
- 1 red bell pepper
- 1 medium or 2 small cucumbers, peeled.
- 1/2 red onion, peeled
- 2 cloves of garlic, peeled
- 1 medium Jalapeno or other hot pepper, deseeded
- 1/3 cup of olive oil, preferably extra virgin
- 1 handful of almonds and 1 slice of bread (gluten free is fine) OR 2 slices of bread OR 2 handfuls of almonds
- 3 tbsp of lemon juice or a light vinegar such as sherry vinegar or cider vinegar (but not balsamic).
- Salt and pepper, to taste.
- Water or ice cubes, as needed. 
- For garnish (choose any combination of these, or nothing at all): finely diced cucumbers, finely diced tomatoes, finely diced onion, finely diced hard-boiled egg, croutons, lightly browned almonds.


1) chop all of the vegetables into a large chunks. If using bread, cut the bread into small chunks.

2) Put the tomatoes, pepper, cucumber, onion, garlic, jalapeno, olive oil, almonds/bread and lemon juice/vinegar into a food processor or blender, and blend until you get a relatively smooth mixture (although it will still have a bit of texture, especially with the almonds).

3) Season with salt and pepper. If you would like a slightly runnier texture, add a little bit of water (but not much!) at this point. If you plan to eat the gazpacho right away and would like it to be really cold, add a few ice cubes (but only if your blender can handle them!). Blend some more to get the seasoning mixed in and the ice (if using) fully crushed.

4) Serve with the desired garnish and a drizzle of olive oil.

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