Thursday, May 17, 2012

Spanish Gazpacho

I never liked gazpacho, there was something unappealing about cold soup. But, then in the heat of the summer Seville sun, I had my first taste of real Spanish Gazpacho, and I was hooked. The only thing Spanish about this soup is that it is made by Latina and I used Spanish olive oil. Nonetheless it is delicious, and so easy to whip up. Even my 10 month son liked it. I have garnished the grown up rendition with crisped tomato peels and watercress. I love the look of the intensified peels when they are crisped in the oven; I love their taste and their crunch. I also like how the peppery watercress contrasts with the cool soup. Feel free to simplify the recipe by not bothering with the garnish and not seeding the tomatoes, but I do recommend peeling them for a smooth consistency.

6 ripe tomatoes (it is ok if they are a little too ripe)
1/2 an English cucumber
2 or 3 slices of stale bread
4 cloves of garlic micro planed
1/2 cup of Spanish olive oil
1/4 cup of sherry vinegar
1/2 teaspoon of Spanish pimenton (paprika)
Salt and pepper to taste
Watercress and edible flowers to garnish


1. Preheat the oven to 400 F, and boil a pot of water big enough to hold the tomatoes
2. Score the tomatoes on the bottom with a sharp knife, making an X, be careful
3. Dip the tomatoes in the boiling water for 30 seconds or until the skins loosen
4. Let cool on the cutting board, while you prepare the rest of the ingredients
5. Dice the cucumber and bread and place in the blender
6. Micro plane the garlic straight into the blender
7. Add the rest of the ingredients save the tomatoes
8. Peel the skins off the tomatoes and place on parchment paper lined baking sheet in the hot oven
9. Halve the tomatoes and gently squeeze the excess water and seeds into a bowl (reserve for Pan con Tomate recipe next)
10. Pop the skinned and seeded tomatoes in the blender and blitz until smooth, add water or tomato juice if necessary
11. Remove the crispy tomato peels from the oven after about 10 minutes or when they are crispy but before they are burned. And garnish the soup with crispy peels, edible flowers and fresh watercress.

Serve and enjoy! I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as my family does. And, I hope it offers respite from the summer heat and a wonderful use for all those garden tomatoes.

As always, much love, many blessings, and happy eating...