Right now the cucumber and tomato harvest is incredible. I love them both and keep looking for ways to eat them (my favourite remains to eat them raw and unadulterated) and to make them a part of my meals. Which is why I’m a little surprised it took me so long to think of gazpacho – that wonderful cold Spanish soup made from (yep) tomatoes and cucumbers. A couple of cook books and internet searches later and Frank and I came up with our super duper Gazpacho Goodness Recipe (which also used our own onions – the capsicums are still too small but soon…):
1) In a food processor (or even a blender, you’ll just have a smoother result) finely chop the following vegetables. I did mine one at a time (or in small groups) since each chop at a different rate and I wanted to control the texture:
- 1 clove garlic
- 3 cups fresh, peeled tomatoes (or 2 cups and 1 cup of tomato juice)
- 3 small cucumbers (or 1 large), peeled with most of the seeds removed
- 1/2 cup red or green capsicum
- 1/2 cup onion
2) Dump the chopped vegetables into a large, glass bowl. To this bowl add and stir through:
- 3 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1 Tablespoon wine vinegar
3) Add to taste:
- bouillon (not too much water – maybe a tablespoon – or you’ll make the soup too runny)
- Tabasco sauce
4) Chill for at least an hour before serving. You can drop an ice cube into each bowl when serving for that extra chill.
5) Top with croutons and any garnish that suits your fancy (basil or pesto work well, parsley, coriander leaves, the sky is the limit)
The texture of gazpacho is a very variable thing. Some cooks recommend blending well until it’s more like paste and then serve with some freshly chopped vegetables (cucumbers, onions and capsicums) to add crunch. Some chefs liken it more to a fruit salad texture. I went with something about half-way between salsa and tomato sauce and liked it that way.
While we were in the middle of making this dish, friends called and invited us over for a barbecue. We said we’d come if we could bring the starter (hence no photo of the serving complete with croutons). 6 of us ate a nice-sized bowl of cold soup each from this batch and it was as good as I hoped. We’ll be making this one again before the season is out and I’ll serve it when we have guests, it’s pretty impressive looking and tasting.