If you haven’t had the opportunity to sip on chilled gazpacho on a hot summer day, then you are missing out. But after you read this recipe, you may not be missing out for very much longer.
For those of you who are not familiar with gazpacho, it’s a cold Spanish vegetable soup, usually made with a base of fresh tomatoes. There are all sorts of variations, but the recipe that follows is the closest to the one that I grew up eating.
To get the most out of this recipe, it’s extremely important that you take advantage of peak season tomatoes. I prefer to use very ripe, organic heirloom tomatoes. They have that classic tomatoey flavor that I want in a tomato based soup. And when I say “ripe,” I mean fragrant and very juicy. In fact, if the heirloom tomato looks like its bursting from it’s skin, that means its going to be especially delicious for this recipe.
You will need special equipment: a good quality blender. It’s an essential kitchen tool that makes smoothies, soups and sauces with ease. I have an Oster Versa. It’s a little pricey but I found mine on sale. It’s also lasted me a few years without a problem. Just make sure it’s good quality and remember: you get what you pay for.
Let’s get to the recipe!
Makes about 10 cups
- 7 large, very ripe, dark colored heirloom tomatoes, stems and tough cores removed
- 1 large common cucumber, peeled
- 2 cloves of garlic, peeled
- 1 green bell pepper, cored and seeds removed
- 1/2 c. plain breadcrumbs
- 3 tbsp. red wine vinegar
- 1 tbsp. salt
- 1/2 c. filtered water
- 1/2 c. extra virgin olive oil
Roughly chop up the tomatoes into chunks. Set aside.
Roughly chop the cucumber, pepper, bell pepper, and garlic. Set aside together.
In the blender, process the tomatoes for a few seconds to liquefy the solids. To that, add all of the remaining ingredients. Blend for a few minutes until smooth. Pour into a 2.5 to 3 quart container, cover, and refrigerate until chilled (at least 2 hours). Yes, it’s that simple.
Serve in chilled glasses and sip on it like a beverage or serve in a chilled bowl and eat with a spoon like a soup. You can top it with chopped cucumbers and tomatoes, or croutons. It’s up to you. Either way, enjoy this silky and fresh soup on a hot day.