|Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)|
Gazpacho is a cool, refreshing, and flavorful soup that is the perfect starter to any meal on a hot summer day. It also makes the perfect healthy snack.
This cold soup originates in southern Spain, a hot and dry region called Andalusia. It's as simple and authentic as it gets, resulting in a silky smooth and delicious cold gazpacho.
During the hot weather, do what the Spaniards do and make a batch of gazpacho and keep it in a glass pitcher in the refrigerator for whenever you need a cool drink.
- For the Soup:
- 3 pounds very ripe tomatoes (peeled, seeded and coarsely chopped)
- Optional: The insides (not the crusts) of a large, day-old white baguette
- 2 cucumbers (peeled, seeded, coarsely chopped)
- 1 small sweet onion (coarsely chopped)
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 red bell pepper (or any sweet pepper-- red makes the color more vibrant)
- 1 to 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar (or red-wine vinegar)
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- Dash salt (or to taste)
- Dash pepper (or to taste)
- For the Optional Garnishes:
- 1/4 cup cucumber (chopped)
- 1/4 cup red pepper (chopped)
- 1/4 cup green apple (chopped)
- 1/2 cup croutons
- 1/2 cup hard-cooked egg (chopped)
The easiest way to peel tomatoes is to boil water in a medium saucepan. As soon as the water boils, turn off heat and place the tomatoes in the hot water for 1 minute. Carefully remove hot tomatoes. The skin will rub off easily.
Soak the bread in a few tablespoons of water. Gently remove and squeeze dry.
Place the tomatoes, bread, cucumbers, onions, garlic, and pepper in a blender. Blend until the mixture is smooth. All the ingredients may not fit at one time, so you may have to fill the blender several times.
Add the vinegar and pulse until it is completely incorporated.
Optionally, you can strain the gazpacho at this step. This will give it a smoother texture. Some people prefer their gazpacho slightly chunky-- it's a matter of personal taste.
Add the extra virgin olive oil little by little, while the blender is running until completely incorporated.
Once the gazpacho is completely blended, pour it into a large non-metallic bowl. Season with additional vinegar and add salt and pepper to taste. Mix well, cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
Garnish each serving with the chopped vegetables, croutons and egg if desired. Serve the gazpacho chilled.
Place ice and water in a large bowl or pot and place in sink. Put the bowl or glass blender containing gazpacho into the ice water. Stir the gazpacho to ensure it cools evenly.