There isn’t much to making gazpacho: it’s a cold soup made from tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers and anything else in your garden you might want to try. Now that there are really flavorful tomatoes at peak ripeness, you can chop up some gazpacho in your blender just a few minutes. If you don’t have a garden bursting with tomatoes, try getting some from a farm stand or farmer’s market to get the best flavor. Supermarket tomatoes are bred for traveling ability, not flavor, so you probably want to avoid those.
The first tomatoes that come in most gardens are the cherry-sized ones, and those are usually the sweetest as well. Use those along with a few bigger tomatoes for the best result.
We call for about 2 lb of tomatoes, but depending on the number of guests, you can increase or decrease this. Just make sure you fill your blender with all the veggies. You can always make more, and combine them in a bowl to make sure the flavors are uniform.
- 2 lb tomatoes, quartered. (Leave the cherry-sized whole)
- 1-2 cucumbers, depending on size, peeled
- ½ bell pepper (red, orange or green) cut up
- 1 clove garlic, smushed to remove the skin
- 2 Tb red wine vinegar or sherry wine vinegar
- ½ cup water
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil, extra for garnish
- Kosher salt
- Put all the above ingredients into a blender and blitz until uniform. This should give you a nice, chunky soup, which will still have bits of peel and seeds among the chunks.
- To make a smoother gazpacho, run the soup through a food mill to filter out the seeds and skins. The flavor will be the same, but the mouth feel will be less chunky.
Chill the soup for an hour or so in the blender or in a couple of quart mason jars.
- ½ loaf French or other country bread, cut into croutons
- Basil, cut into strips (uses scissors or a knife)
- More extra virgin olive oil
- Put a little regular olive oil into a cast iron pan and brown the croutons briefly.
- Pour the soup into serving bowls, and add a few toasted croutons to each bowl, and garnish with a few strips of basil and a splash of extra-virgin olive oil.
Serve at once.