Summer’s glorious gazpacho

On a hot summer afternoon in Spain — and if you’ve not experienced a hot summer afternoon in Spain, you don’t know heat — nothing is as refreshing as a bowl of chilled gazpacho.

This is one of the world’s easiest dishes to make. I served it a couple nights ago, and when I told our friend how to make it, she said, “You’re kidding?” With the bounty of gorgeous heirloom tomatoes available at the farmer’s markets and upscale stores during the summer, you can go crazy with variety — a sweet golden gazpacho made with sun gold cherry tomatoes, a lusty maroon gazpacho made with cherokee purple tomatoes, even a green gazpacho made with green zebra tomatoes.

This recipe serves six as a first course, four as a light dinner with bread and cheese. I would recommend a fruity rosé for wine.

Gazpacho

1 lb very ripe tomatoes
2 cups water
3 thick slices crusty bread (ciabatta or slipper bread, not sourdough)
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1/4 cup seasoned rice wine vinegar
extra virgin olive oil
sea salt and pepper

Put one slice of bread in a blender. Add water and vinegar. Cut other two slices into cubes, toss with a little olive oil and salt, and toast in a 250-degree oven for about 20-30 minutes, or until golden and hard.

Add tomatoes, garlic, 1/4 cup olive oil and a good pinch of sea salt to the blender and blend on high until a smooth puree. Taste and adjust seasoning if it needs more salt. Place blender in fridge to cool soup for an hour or two.

To serve: reblend briefly, then pour soup into bowls. Drizzle a little olive oil over each soup, top with croutons and a twist of the pepper mill, and serve.

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: Simple Perfection, Perfectly Simple | skinny girls & mayonnaise

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