This recipe is the quintessential creation of what is known in Spain as the Cucina Povera, the poor kitchen. Living in the country side, poorer families were left to feed themselves from what they could grow. Honestly, in my opinion, this actually made/makes them richer than the rest of us, but that’s another story for another day! Country side Spaniards made their meals from what they could harvest from the land, which lent itself to fresh resplendent dishes that were so simple they were amazing.
Gazpacho is that kind of meal. A cold soup, meant to cool you off on hot summer days, it is bursting with fresh ripe flavor that is great on it’s own as a bowl of soup, or as a refreshing starter to a meal. The secret to a great gazpacho is fresh fresh high quality bursting ripe tomatoes and veggies. The other secret to a great gazpacho is a hot hot Summer day.
There are a variety of ways to make gazpacho. The recipe below is the classic Andalusian recipe, but you’ll find online that all sorts of other things can be added. Personally, I don’t recommend deviating from what is already perfect. You’ll also find that some Gazpacho recipes will have you strain the pulp out of the soup so you’re left with a lovely clear broth. This can be a fun thing to do at a party, served on the side in small shot glasses. But the poor of Spain’s country side would never discard the goodness of the vegetables this way.
Note that the bread used in this recipe is gluten free. I had the remains of an old Udi’s loaf in my refrigerator waiting for just this recipe.
- 2 lbs fresh ripe tomatoes (about 4 medium to large tomatoes)
- 1/2 a cucumber, not peeled, not seeded
- 2 cups red and yellow bell peppers
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 2 Tbsp Sherry Wine Vinegar
- 2 Tbsp virgin olive oil
- 1 cup torn days old bread (dark crust removed and Gluten Free)
- 1/4 cup water (optional if you want the soup to be a bit thinner)
- 1 generous pinch of sea salt
- 1 generous pinch of black ground pepper
- Finely chopped red and yellow pepper
- Finely chopped green onion
- Drizzle of olive oil
1. Gather all your prepared ingredients except for the water and place them in a hearty blender or a Vitamix. This requires a strong motor. A food processor will work as well.
2. Blend all the ingredients until it’s smooth. Taste!
3. If you want your soup to be a bit smoother, add the water and blend again until you have the consistency you desire.
4. Place in the refrigerator for at least an hour before serving. Garnish and enjoy.
I serve this with a tangy arugula salad, dressed in lime and olive oil and topped with thin shavings of fresh parmesan cheese.
Oh… and be sure to eat outside in the shade. Makes Summer feel like it should last forever.