Gazpacho is a very easy soup to prepare. If you own a blender, you can make gazpacho without even trying too hard. Traditionally, gazpacho was made in a mortar in order to use old, stale bread. A dash of vinegar, a bit of water, garlic, some ripe tomatoes and a generous drizzle of olive oil is all that was needed to make a nutritious summer soup. With the advent of electric blenders, the whole process was simplified even though the original recipe really did not change all that much.
It is the custom in Spain to go out every day to the panaderia to get fresh baked bread; the kind with a golden, fragrant crust on the outside and a soft and chewy center. There are so many varieties of bread that you can eat a different one each day of the week and never get to try them all. As a result of this obsession with bread, people usually have leftovers that they keep in the pantry or fridge. This old bread is utilized later on in soups or sauces.
I personally cannot partake of this practice because I need my food to be gluten free. If that is your case as well, gazpacho will taste just as delicious without it. You don’t have to worry. The only difference will be an almost imperceptible change in the texture of your GF version.
However, one thing you must do is use the freshest, best tasting vegetables you can possibly find. The same goes for your olive oil and vinegar. I use the best Picual Extra Virgin olive oil available and the brightest Sherry vinegar. They truly make an amazing difference. The better your raw materials, the tastier your end product will be, since the ingredients in gazpacho are not cooked or altered in any significant way.
Chilled Summer Gazpacho
1 cup very ripe tomatoes
1 cup green pepper
1 cup unpeeled cucumber
1/2 cup onion
1 cup tomato juice
1 medium clove of garlic
1/4 cup Extra Virgin Spanish olive oil
1 Tbsp Spanish sherry vinegar
1/2 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp Spanish sweet pimenton
Chop all the vegetables and measure the amounts for each of them. Proceed by putting the tomatoes, onion, green pepper, garlic, cucumber and tomato juice in the blender. Puree well until smooth.
Salt to taste and add the cumin and pimenton (Spanish paprika). Blend together again.
Finally, keep the blender running and slowly drizzle the olive oil and the vinegar into the vegetable puree. Blend until emulsified, glossy and very smooth.
Chill well in the refrigerator.
Gazpacho is usually served garnished with finely chopped vegetables (tomatoes, cucumber, green pepper…).