The heatwave is finally here -even the UK is having its taste of summer- and here in London we are deliriously making the most of it. But the heart-warming English foods just won’t do during these sultry days, so we need advice from those who know a thing or two about summer: the Spaniards! Cold soups are a staple of Spanish cuisine, and to beat the heat there is nothing better than cooking with (almost) no heat, and having a portion of gorgeous refreshing cold soup to welcome you home during a week like this one. This Gazpacho recipe is so simple you’ll have plenty of time left to spend outside. And ultimately it invites you to make the most out of all those seasonal tomatoes and peppers you got at the farmer’s market!
2 green peppers
2 red peppers
1 medium cucumber
half an onion
1 clove of garlic
extra virgin olive oil
a slice of bread, left to dry so it’s easy to crumble
salt and vinegar
Step 1 – Pierce the tomatoes’ skin with a knife and put them in recently boiled water. Leave them there just enough time for the skin to lift up and take them out of the water, so you can peel them easily, just like you’d do to prepare the tomatoes for passata. Place them in a large bowl, tall enough for you to use a hand mixer to mix the tomatoes and make a passata.
Step 2 – Clean the peppers from their seeds and, if you want, peel the cucumber. Cut the veggies roughly, and add them to the bowl, mixing everything in until there are no solid bits. If you love garlic like I do, you’d be tempted to add more. Don’t do it: raw garlic will be difficult to digest so unless you are used to it, I discourage you!
Step 3 – Add the bread in small bits and keep mixing. The bread adds creaminess to the soup, as well as the addictive flavour typical of gluten.
Step 4 – Add four tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil: this adds thickness as well as flavour to this ever so Spanish recipe. To complete your dish, add salt to your liking and use some vinegar to give it a fresh after-taste.
Step 5 – Put it in the fridge till well chilled, or – if you are serving it right away- add some ice to it! Enjoy with a sprinkling of jamón on top of your portion if you are the meat lover type, or savour it with some extra cucumber or pepper cubes for a purely vegan version.