As the heat sets in here in Lala Land, everyone is on the search for cooling food, fresh ingredients and simplicity in food preparation. I was invited along to a friends place for a barbeque for the 4th of July celebrations and asked my hostess what I should bring along. To my surprise, she said Gazpacho. I made it for her over a year ago and she still remembered the amazing flavours. It has happened before too, when I made it for another beach event and had my friends mum hooked on it for weeks! She still makes it years later; now that's saying something!
It really does make sense to serve this amazing cold Spanish soup on a hot day for a bit of something different to salads and grilled things at a barbeque. It super easy to make as all you do is throw all the ingredients into a blender and whiz away! I made it on that same day, very early morning as it is the sort of dish that tastes better after the flavours have infused for a few hours at least. It always tastes great the next day (if it all hasn't been gobbled up!) so I reccomend if you can, make it the day before. To serve, I always pour it into a large bowl and then create individual 'cups' of the soup adding one or two ice-cubes to keep it cool just before serving. It's really fun to eat soup out of a ceramic cup for some reason, don't you think?!
The recipe that follows is taken from one of my all time favourite Australian cooks, Stephanie Alexander.
What You Need;
1.5 kg (1.5lbs) ripe tomato
200g (7oz) cucumber
150g (5oz) red pepper
2 cloves of garlic,
100g (4oz) sourdough bread
1/2 cup really good olive oil
1/2 cup red wine viniger
1-2 cups of chilled water
salt and pepper to taste
So what's the next thing to do? Simply roughly chop everything and throw it into a blender!! Too easy!
Check the consistency and add as much water as you would like. I like mine on the thick side, so I only added one cup. I needed to do it in batches, and you'll probably find this too. Have an awaiting large bowl and pour your batches into it. Once done, give it a big swirl with a spoon to mix it all up. Cover the bowl with cling wrap and place in the refrigerator for at least a three hours. Overnight is better.
To serve, thinly slice a cucumber for garnish, set aside. Pour into small ceramic cups, add one or two ice-cubes and gently place a slice of cucumber onto the edge of the cup. Vola, a yummy tasting summer soup!