VIDEO - EASY Gazpacho
It’s been a while since we did a soup on the blog and with this (sadly short!) burst of sunshine and heat, I thought it was a perfect time to do our chilled easy Spanish gazpacho recipe. And yes, maybe this is a small tribute to the new World Cup Winners too!
Don’t be put off by the exotic sounding name. If you and your family enjoy tomatoes and cucumbers, you will love this gazpacho. This chilled Spanish soup is often referred to as “salad in a bowl” and it is easy to see why. It is a simple blend of salad ingredients, including the oil and vinegar which would make up the vinaigrette. If ever there a recipe which epitomised a “no-cooking-required” technique, this would be it.
Eaten with fresh bread, gazpacho becomes very much a meal in a bowl – perfect for lunch or even a light supper.
We threw the gazpacho together in the morning before Archie’s nap and it was chilled and deliciously ready to eat at lunchtime when he woke up. The key element for its flavour is the quality of the tomatoes. It can be so hard to find good quality tomatoes in this country but make sure you find the reddest, softest, most ripe tomatoes you can find. I add in a few cherry tomatoes as I find it both adds to the flavour and sweetens the gazpacho a little.
The other important ingredient is sherry vinegar. It can be found alongside the wine vinegars in any supermarket and is an excellent addition to your store cupboard. It makes a particularly lovely vinaigrette. Although it is not conventional, you can use red wine vinegar in the soup if you want to.
Preparation time 15-20 minutes
Cooking time – no time!
If your blender or food mixer is small, there is no harm at all in blending this soup in two batches. Don’t drive yourself mad with taking exactly half the quantities each time, it all comes together in the same bowl in the end!
Makes 6 bowls
1kg very ripe tomatoes, including a large handful of cherry tomatoes
1 large red onion, chopped into large chunks
2 large or 3 small cloves of garlic
2 sweet pointed red peppers, de-seeded and roughly chopped
About 200g crusty white bread
2 tbsp sherry vinegar (or substitute with red wine vinegar)
Approximately 100ml extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
- First you need to prepare your vegetables. I prefer to peel the large tomatoes (you don’t need to peel the small ones). To do this, heat up a full kettle of water, put the tomatoes in a saucepan, pour the water over them and leave them for about 60 seconds. Pour the water away and then run cold water over them until they have cooled down. I did this before Archie came into the kitchen. You will see that the skins will have already started to peel away and will be very easy to remove.
- Peel the cucumber, cut it in half lengthways and scrape out the seeds using a teaspoon.
- Throw the bread and the garlic into your food mixer or blender and blitz for a few seconds. Then simply add the peeled tomatoes, the cherry tomatoes, 3/4 of the cucumber, the red pepper, the red onion, the olive oil and the water and blitz for 4-5 minutes until you get a smooth soup.
- If you feel the soup needs seasoning, add some salt and pepper.
- Many versions of gazpacho would tell you that you now need to pass the soup through a sieve. Personally I much prefer a chunkier version of gazpacho but, if you prefer, you can pass the soup through a sieve to get a perfectly smooth soup.
- The soup needs to be chilled for at least a couple of hours and does benefit from longer. Serve it with the finely chopped remainder of the cucumber, some chopped cherry tomatoes, a drizzle of olive oil and fresh bread.