Phew, it’ll be another hot summer. One of the most appetizing things you I do to fight the heat is to make Gazpacho, which is a Spanish tomato soup that’s served cold. It’s delicious, it’s nutritious, and best of all, it’s really easy to make. Gazpacho is a Spanish as Apple Pie is American. In Spain, you can even buy it in the refrigerator section of the supermarket.
I always ask Spanish women how they make their Gazpacho and they 95 percent of they time they answer the same: tomato, red bell pepper, cucumber, onion, garlic, bread, olive oil and vinegar. (In the picture above I substituted lemon for the vinegar, which I do when someone doesn’t like vinegar.) Only on a couple of occasions, have women have told me that they use flour as a thickener instead of bread.
Gazpacho is a refreshing, raw, healthy food choice and it’s also an elegant food. For some special guests, you may want try this elegant presentation that Su, at WebosFritos discovered while looking at a culinary technique book from Editorial Blume. (Click on the link to see her beautiful presentation.)
If you’ve never tried Gazpacho, you must try it soon!
Prep time: 20 to 30 minutes plus 4 hours to chill
4 large ripe tomatoes
1 red bell pepper
1 small cucumber
4 slices bread, whole wheat or white
1/3 cup chopped onion
2 medium cloves garlic, peeled
1/4 to 1/3 cup olive oil
2 teaspoons vinegar or lemon juice
1) Fill a 2-quart pot with water and bring it to a boil. While you wait for the water to come to a boil, score the bottom of the tomatoes by making an X with the paring knife. And then, use the knife to core the top of the tomato. Make an incision about 3/4 of an inch deep and then cut around the green stem to remove it. Once the water has come to a boil, place one to two tomatoes in the pot for twenty seconds, keeping the whole tomato under the water level. Next, place the tomato into a bowl of cold water. Repeat until all the tomatoes have been in the boiling water. After the tomatoes have been parboiled for 20 seconds, peel them and seed them, and then discard the seeds and the peels.
2) Remove the outer crust from the bread, and then place the four slices of the bread in about 1 to 1-1/2 cups of water to let it soften.
3) Peel the cucumber, slice it in half lengthwise, and then remove the seeds with a spoon by running the spoon down the length to dig out the seeds. Discard the peel and the seeds.
4) Slice the bell pepper lengthwise and remove the seeds. Discard the seeds and then chop the pepper into small pieces.
5) Place the onion, the garlic, the bread, and half of the chopped ingredients into a blender and add about 1/2 cup of water. Blend on high speed until the soup is a smooth consistency. Pour this batch into a pot large enough to hold both batches. Blend the remaining ingredients in the blender, adding water as needed, and process until it is very smooth.
6) Add 3/4 to 1 teaspoon of salt, 2 teaspoons of vinegar, and 1/4 cup of olive oil. (For vinegar, try using sherry vinegar, white wine vinegar, or distilled white vinegar). If it tastes flat, try adding a touch more salt, or vinegar, as needed. Chill 4 hours in the refrigerator.
Garnish with diced red bell pepper, green bell pepper, and bread.
*Note – Vegetables from the nightshade family, like tomatoes and peppers, may cause inflammation in some people.