A cold, refreshing, and delicious bowl authentic Spanish Gazpacho Andaluz is exactly the kind of meal we need on a sweltering August afternoon.
I remember the times I have spent walking through the melting heat in southern Spain, feeling absolutely hot and sweaty and definitely not hungry. . not hungry, that is, until I was presented with a bowl of chilled Andalusian Gazpacho. Like no Gazpacho I had ever seen before, this soup was smooth, almost creamy, rich with perfectly ripe tomatoes and fruity olive oil, tasting of complex flavours that hinted at other vegetables.
I ate Gazpacho Andaluz almost every day over two separate trips to Spain and never got tired of it. On a third trip to Spain, I finally learned how to make it. The recipe has since become a sleeper hit at my Spanish cooking class, and today I will share it with my faithful blog readers.
This is essential summer eating: ripe tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, garlic, olive oil, crusty bread, and some seasonings. It requires no cooking, comes together in minutes, and is delicious and soul satisfying in the extreme.
makes 4 cups, to serve 4 to 8 people
This chilled summer soup is best made with vine-ripe tomatoes and very fruity extra virgin olive oil. Simple, delicious, and refreshing on a hot August day!
1¼ lb (560 gm) fresh ripe tomatoes (about 6)
120 gm seeded green bell pepper (1 medium)
130 gm peeled fresh cucumber (½ Long English)
2 cloves garlic
2 oz (56 gm) good quality crustless bread (about 1 cup bread chunks)
¼ cup cold water, more as needed
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp (5 ml) fine sea salt
4 tsp (20 ml) verjus OR 1 to 2 tsp white wine vinegar
2 Tb (30 ml) finely chopped cucumber
2 Tb (30 ml) finely chopped tomato
2 Tb (30 ml) finely chopped sweet onion
2 Tb (30 ml) finely chopped sweet pepper
2 Tb (30 ml) finely chopped herbs (parsley)
1 finely chopped hard-boiled egg
1 Tb (15 ml) Extra virgin olive oil
Instructions – Soup
Chop everything into chunks and place in a blender. Puree until completely smooth, adding a bit more water if necessary. Taste for seasoning, adjusting the salt, oil, and vinegar as desired. Feel free to add a pinch of sugar if your tomatoes were very tart. Pour the soup into a container and chill in the fridge or freezer while preparing the garnishes.
Instructions – Garnish
Serve each bowl of soup with a spoonful of each of the garnishes sprinkled on top. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and serve.