Gazpacho recipe

Summer is here and it is hot.  Triple digits hot.  When the weather is this hot, I don't want to cook and I don't want to eat anything really heavy.  I went out for tapas recently and I ordered gazpacho.  It was served in a martini glass and it was cool, creamy and exactly what I wanted!  I had never made gazpacho before so I decided to try it when I got home.  It's really easy.

2 cups stale white bread, a crusty french bread works really well
2 lbs of fresh tomatoes (I used about 6 tomatoes)
2 cloves of garlic
1 English cucumber, peeled, seeded, and chopped
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon  salt

1.  Cut the bread into small cubes.  Put the bread cubes into a medium bowl and set aside.

2.  Chop the tomatoes.  Put the chopped tomatoes in a colander with a large bowl under it to catch the tomato juices.  You may have to use your hands or a spoon to mash the tomatoes and squeeze the juice out.  Don't worry about getting all the juice out, just get as much as you can.  Save the juice and the tomatoes.

3.   Strain the tomato juice through a sieve to remove the seeds and be sure to catch the juice in a cup or a bowl.  Pour the tomato juice over the bread and let it sit for about ten minutes.  This helps the bread soften and allows it to absorb the taste of the tomatoes.

4.  Now take the tomatoes that you squeezed the juice out of and put them in a blender.  Blend the tomatoes until smooth.  Add the cucumber and garlic to the tomato puree.  Blend until smooth.  Now add the bread soaked in tomato juice.  Blend until smooth.  Add the salt and olive oil.  Blend one last time.

You can serve the gazpacho immediately at room temperature or you can chill it in the refrigerator and serve it it cold.  It's really good with some crusty bread. 

Here's a few things to remember when making gazpacho: 

You MUST use good, fresh tomatoes.  If you grow your own those would be great.  If not, get the fresh tomatoes still on the vine.  They 're more expensive, but they'll make the gazpacho taste better, I promise. 

Use day old bread.  If you have some stale bread that would work great.  I bought a day old loaf of french bread at the store for 99 cents.

Use an English cucumber.  English cucumbers are longer and slimmer than regular cucumbers.  English cucumbers taste exactly the same, but they have fewer and smaller seeds and less water content than a regular cucumber.  Using an English cucumber will give you a creamier soup.

This really is a recipe that you get to experiment with and make it your own.  Next time I make it, I'll probably use less garlic and more salt and pepper.

tomato and zucchini recipes


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