It’s tomato season! And there is nothing a hot summer day loves more than a chilled soup with a burst of fresh flavors from the farmer’s market. If you travel through Spain you’ll experience a variety of gazpacho recipes—Green from the province of Huelva filled with salad greens and herbs, White, native to Andalucia and made with almonds, and Red, made with red ripe tomatoes and bell peppers. You’ll also find that each Spaniard has their own personal “recipe” for gazpacho that caters to each person’s taste.
My favorite gazpacho recipe boasts a full spectrum of flavors: sweet tomatoes and peppers, tangy lemons and vinegar, a touch of spicy cayenne and ginger, pungent onions and garlic and a touch of sea salt with a smooth finish of olive oil. ¡Que aproveche!
Yields 4 cups
In a blender combine:
3 Medium ripe tomatoes (approximately 1lb), quartered
1 Bell pepper (yellow, orange or red), chopped
1 Cucumber, peeled and chopped
½ cup White onion, chopped
1 Clove garlic, chopped
1 tsp Freshly grated ginger
The juice of one lemon
½ Tbs Sherry or red wine vinegar
½ tsp Sea salt (or to taste)
Cayenne (to taste)
** 1/4 Cup olive oil (blend this in at the end)
Blend all ingredients except olive oil until smooth.
Slowly add ¼ cup olive oil at the end while blending on a low speed.
Garnish: Onion, bell pepper and cucumber, small diced, placed in the center of the bowl
Notes: Gazpacho can be served at room temperature or put in a refrigerator for 1-2 hours for a chilled soup.
Also try: Fresh herbs like basil, cilantro or dill
Optional: Traditional Gazpacho recipes call for hard 2-3 day-old bread which gives the soup a velvety soft texture when soaked and blended. I use freshly ground flax seeds for a similar effect. Add ½ tablespoon to a cup or bowl of soup, stirring it in completely. Serve immediately.