Gazpacho

Gazpacho is a summertime staple in my home. When I can get the tastiest, sun-ripened tomatoes for next to nothing at the local market, there is no better way of serving them than whipping up a batch of zesty gazpacho soup. Tomatoes, cucumber, peppers, red onion, garlic and some other bibs and bobs are all it takes to create this refreshing meal starter. If you can chop vegetables and work a blender or hand mixer, then you can make decent gazpacho in less than 15 minutes. If you have a bit more time you can make praise-worthy gazpacho with the extra effort.

Ingredients

  • 1 kg ri
  • pe tomatoes
  • 1 large cucumber, peeled
  • 2 red bell peppers, cored (meaning take out all the seeds and what I just learned is called the placenta), and rough chopped
  • ½ red pepper, diced
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce (Lea & Perrins is preferable)
  • 1/2 teaspoon toasted cumin, ground
  • 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 lime, juiced
    4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 2-cm slices of white baguette – stale is best
  • 3 cloves of garlic minced
  • 3 tablespoons of dry sherry or Marsala wine (not cooking sherry)
  • Salt and pepper

Beginner level

  • Put all your vegetables (which are technically fruit except the onion and garlic) into a pot or blender and blend until even consistency. Don’t worry about a few lumps because there will be another blending.
  • Add remaining wet ingredients, stir with spoon, then add bread. Soak for 10 minutes.
  • Blend again until smooth.
  • Season with salt and pepper.

You can eat this as is or refrigerate for two hours, which will allow the flavors to blend. Serve with a fresh baguette and some chopped basil.

Pro level – Prepare like this.

That’s it. It’s a bit more time but well worth the effort.

 

Did you know?

  • The name gazpacho is of Arabic origin and means ‘soaked bread.’
  • 2 of the main ingredients, tomatoes and peppers, were not available until after the discovery of the New World.
  •  National Gazpacho Day is December 6
  • It is Andalusia’s (Spain) best-known dish and probably originated as a soup during the time when Spain was part of the Islamic world in the Middle Ages
  • Early recipes call only for a mixture of bread, olive oil, garlic, and water – tomatoes and peppers, imports from the New World, were additions much later.