With summer around the corner, Gazpacho, a cool tomato soup, is a fast, easy and refreshing dish to prepare and keep in the fridge. There are a million variants of Gazpacho recipes on the internet. The following is the traditional recipe which hails from Andalucía, Spain. I figured I would try Jose Andrés’ version (which turns out to be his wife Patricia’s recipe). Jose Andrés, is looked upon as one of the leading Spanish chefs in the world, so I figured I can’t go wrong with one of his recipes. The only thing I adjusted in this recipe is the straining of the soup. I added some of the pulpy goodness of the vegetables. This is all a matter of preference. How do I question one of the leading authorities on Spanish cuisine, you say? Hey, that’s the way I like my soup.
The most important thing when making Gazpacho, is the tomatoes you use. I can not stress this enough. Buy the best Organic tomatoes you can find. Most of the tomatoes at your local chain grocery store, are picked unripe and then gassed with Ethylene to start the ripening process. These tomatoes are usually firm, red and no flavor. The tomato growers are looking for profit, and longevity of product, not taste. You say tomato, I say Potato! This is why tomatoes in other countries, like Spain, and of course Italy taste so much better.
Rinse off your tomatoes. I used the organic Roma variety.
Core the tomatoes.
Cut them in quarters.
Chop cucumber. Jose Andres says to remove the seeds. As you can see, I didn’t bother to remove the seeds, and frankly I don’t think it makes much difference.
Take a nice green bell pepper………..
seeded and chopped.
Start filling up the blender with your ingredients. As you can see, everything can not fit, so I had to blend some of the ingredients, in order to make room. This is something that is not mentioned in “Jose Andres’ recipe. Either he is making it in batches, or he has a hell of a big blender!
I started the blender on “Pulse” setting, so that I could make room in the blender.
Add 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, 2 garlic cloves, 1/4 cup Spanish Sherry vinegar and salt for taste.
Make sure not to forget any ingredients. I almost forgot the green bell pepper!
Check for taste, and adjust. I needed to add some more acidity.
Strain all of that yumminess into a pitcher. I strained most of it and left some of the pulpy goodness. This is just a matter of personal preference.
Place in the fridge to cool. The Gazpacho is on the right. The left is Watermelon juice. I have a new love affair with my new Blendtec blender. I have been blending every fruit or Veggie in sight!
Garnish and serve chilled. I garnished it with chives. You can garnish it with diced cucumber, or croutons.
It’s also good with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. Enjoy!
2 pounds ripe tomatoes
1/2 peeled cucumber
1/2 green bell pepper
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup Spanish Sherry vinegar
2 cloves garlic
salt to taste
Wash & core the tomatoes and chop into quarters. Peel 1/2 a large cucumber and chop. Cut a green bell pepper, seed and chop half of it. Place your veggies in the blender, along with 2 cloves of garlic, 3/4 cup good quality extra virgin olive oil, preferably Spanish, 1/4 cup Spanish Sherry Vinegar and salt to taste. Blend until smooth. Taste and make any adjustments necessary. As I mentioned, I needed to blend some of the ingredients first, to make room for the remaining ingredients. You can also do this in 2 batches. Once done, strain the soup through a medium-hole strainer into a pitcher and cool for at least 30 minutes in the refrigerator.
Note: I left some of the soup unstrained as a matter of personal preference.
Serve, garnish and enjoy!