One of Summer's Best Rewards
- Servings: 8.
Gazpacho is a Spanish soup that can be made in a variety of ways. Some are puréed with bread to add thickness and others are pure white, made with ground almonds. But it's always served cold.
The most popular and familiar Gazpacho is a chunky mixture of tomatoes and other summer vegetables, as if it were a salad transformed into a soup.
This recipe, inspired by the one from The Silver Palate Cookbook with its chunky texture and bright flavor, is quick to make. But it takes some prep time to peel the tomatoes first and then afterwards, to completely chill the soup -- at least 4 hours. Resist skipping the step of removing the tomato skins because this will improve the soup's texture. Eating the soup when it's been well chilled will ensure the best flavor.
You can garnish with a tiny dice of cucumber or red onion or a single scallion, left whole.
- 6 to 8 large, ripe, in-season tomatoes, peeled, cored and coarsely chopped, saving any juice
- 1 large or 2 small red peppers, cored and seeds discarded, coarsely chopped
- 1 medium red onion, peeled and coarsely chopped
- 3 to 4 kirby cucumbers or 1 English cucumber, peeled and coarsely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled
- 1/3 cup sherry or red wine vinegar
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 cup canned tomato juice
- 4 drops Tabasco or a pinch of cayenne
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Wash every vegetable.
- Peel the tomatoes either with a fine serrated knife or by immersing them, one by one, into a pot of boiling water for about 10 seconds, then plunging into a bowl of iced water to stop the cooking. Use a paring knife to remove the skin, which should slip off easily.
- Begin the processing with the garlic, adding it first to the processor and finely mince.
- Add the red pepper, onion and cucumber and process into very small pieces but stop before they are fully liquified. Leave a little crunch and texture. Depending on the capacity of your food processor you may need to do this and the next step in stages.
- Add the chopped tomato and pulse several times until the tomatoes are in little pieces, but again, do not liquify. Transfer all the processed vegetables to a large bowl or storage continer. Add the tomato juice, half of the vinegar, olive oil, Tabasco or cayenne, and salt.
- Taste and add more of the vinegar, olive oil, and seasonings until the flavor is as you want it. You can also add more tomato juice if you want a thinner texture as your soup can vary depending on how much you have puréed the other ingredients.
- Cover and chill at least 4 hours, preferably overnight.
- Serve by ladling into individual soup bowls and garnish with a sprinkling of finely minced red onion or a single fresh scallion.