Gazpacho – a Spanish Cold Soup

Tapping on my husband’s Spanish heritage, we often turn to cold soups to beat the heat.  Whether you serve it with croutons like a soup, or you serve it in a glass with ice and a straw like a bloody Mary, Gazpacho is certainly one of those dishes that keeps you cool. It’s also very practical when  all you have to do is just take it out of the fridge and prepare some garnishes to go with it. Tomato, cucumber and green pepper are the base of this soup, and while you can follow the recipe for guidelines, you can add more or less of each ingredient, to fit your taste.

Ingredients:
1.5kg tomatoes
1 green bell peppers
1 red bell peppers
1 medium cucumber
half an onion
1 clove of garlic
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
a slice of bread, left to dry so it’s easy to crumble
salt and vinegar

Gazpacho 4_5 straight on bowls

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, in big cubes, and add them to the bowl, mixing everything with a hand blender 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 your gazpacho. To complete your dish, add salt to your liking and use some vinegar to just enough acidity 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, or savour it with some extra cucumber or pepper cubes for a purely vegan version.

Gazpacho 4_5 overhead serve up

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