Gazpacho – ChatterRecipe August 2012

Gazpacho with Goat Cheese Salad ©David Bishop

For the ChatterRecipe this month I’m going with one of my own particular summer favorites, Gazpacho. My first encounter with this delicious cold soup was years ago when we were on a family holiday in Spain and my father had evidently eaten a decent amount of it, because my mother complained about how bad his breath stank of Garlic afterwards. She wasn’t wrong either, but I do think that the Spanish had probably put more than a couple of Garlic Cloves in their recipe! Gazpacho was originally a peasant dish made with leftover Bread, Garlic, Water, Olive Oil and Vinegar. It wasn’t until later that the soup evolved into what we now make with Tomatoes, Peppers and Cucumbers. Needless to say there are potentially numerous variations on this soup, and many have attempted to update it by adding different ingredients, such as Watermelon or Poached Shrimp. You could even make a “Green” Gazpachousing Cucumbers, Green Peppers and Tomatillos, if you felt like it, it’s really up to you and what you like, but today we are sticking with the more traditional version. Tina Ujlaki, Executive Food Editor of Food & Wine suggests that an easy rule of thumb is to have three parts Tomatoes to one part other ingredients, such as Peppers, Cucumbers, Onions & Garlic. And if the soup is too runny, add some chunks of Stale Bread to thicken it.

Ingredients:

Ripe Tomatoes (cut into chunks)

½ large Cucumber (peeled, seeded & cut into chunks)

Green or Red Bell Pepper (seeded & cut into chunks)

Garlic Cloves (crushed)

1 cup Water (or Tomato Juice)

1/3 cup Olive Oil

2 tablespoons Sherry Vinegar (or Balsamic Vinegar)

Salt

Cayenne Pepper (to taste)

Stale Bread (optional & cut into chunks)

Hot Sauce (optional)

Parsley or Cilantro (optional)

Recipe: This easy rustic version takes minutes to make and can be refrigerated overnight before serving. Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor and process until coarsely pureed. Season to taste. If the soup is too runny, add some Stale Bread to thicken it. And if you prefer a smoother soup you can also pass it through a food mill. Add some Parsley or Cilantro if you like some extra “green” in there as well. To add some crunch and texture, serve the soup with some additional diced Tomatoes, Cucumbers & Peppers as a garnish and it is best served really, really cold! And, if your breath does smell of Garlic afterwards (which it probably will) munch on a sprig of Parsley to freshen the breath!

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