Friday, September 16, 2011

Summer Soup – Gazpacho

In my 8th grade Spanish class, I remember making gazpacho in the class one day. It was pretty unique, but never really thought about it nor had it again until this summer, when I came across it more than three times, after so many years later (I'm not telling how many...) A hot weather favorite, this cold soup utilizes fresh summer vegetables, and is refreshing, palette-cleansing and a great way to beat the heat. In Spain, you can pick up cartons of gazpacho in the supermarket as one would a carton of milk. The soup originates as a bread-based soup and typically uses stale bread, tomatoes, cucumber, bell pepper, onion and garlic, olive oil, wine vinegar, and salt, but the flexibility of ingredients and variations of the soup are numerous. 

The recipe I have to share with you a pared-down, back-to-basics / purist version that is so delicious in it's simplicity, I hope you will love it as much as I do. We were spending the weekend with good friends and were served a small "shot" of ice-cold gazpacho to accompany each meal. A non-cook cook, this has become my friend's latest reliable favorite, and, if she can do it, I promise, so can you! The recipe originates from her dear friend Niki, in Spain, who kindly has let me share this recipe with you all.

Tomatoes are still abundant, and amazing. Even though the weather is changing, this is a dish you can try out now and get ready for next summer.

GAZPACHO (makes 2 cups / 500ml)

5 good quality plum-/pear-shaped tomatoes (about 1lb or 454g) cut into quarters
1/4 cup (60ml) good-quality olive oil
1/8 of (or even less) white onion, peeled
1/8 of a garlic clove, peeled
1/2 - 3/4 tsp sea salt
1/4 cup ice-cold water (or lots of ice cubes, if serving immediately)

  • Do not peel or remove the seeds from the tomatoes
  • in a blender of food processor, add all the ingredients, except the water. Puree until well-blended and becomes a thick liquid. Gradually add the ice-cold water to thin it out a bit, or until desired consistency. 
  • Using a sieve with a bowl underneath, pour the tomato-blend into the sieve and push through the pulp to strain. Pour the filtered soup into a pitcher or jug and chill until ready to serve. 

This is really most refreshing when really, really cold, so I thought it would be fun to use the Fred ice-shot "glasses" to serve, but you need to refill the shots and really have to be quick before your cup melts! ;-) 

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