This is one of these recipes I’ve waited years to make and now wonder why… The first time I tasted gazpacho was at a friend’s ranch house in Texas where she was growing her own tomatoes. I fell in love with it at first spoon, and went on to try and replicate it, but my first attempts were a bust and I gave up, thinking the magic was in her tomatoes.
Well, some of that is true, the magic is in the tomatoes, and your gazpacho will only be as good as the tomatoes you use… However, I recently went on a new quest for gazpacho recipes, bought some good heirloom tomatoes at the peak of ripeness, and lo and behold, I have managed to replicate the flavor I had been chasing for all these years!
To be quite honest, my first attempt turned a gross brownish color as I had used green bell peppers and had not peeled my cucumber (I like the peel which is full of nutrients, but in this case detrimental to the appearance of the dish…). But the second attempt was the charm!
So the following recipe is my gazpacho 2.0, which turned a beautiful red/gold color.
Note that the addition of bread is optional but traditional in Andalusia, where this dish originated. It gives a nice smooth texture and binds the soup together.
Give it a try!
- 1 lb tomatoes heirloom, vine-ripe, or romas
- 1 ea red bell pepper
- 1/2 ea Red onion (about 1/2 cup)
- 1 ea thick slice white bread (about 1 cup cut in small chunks, crust removed)
- 1 ea cucumber 6" long
- 2 ea small garlic cloves
- 2 tbsp sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar
- 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- Remove crust from bread and cut it in small cubes. Place in a large bowl.
- Cut tomatoes in half crosswise and remove the seeds into a bowl. (Note: it is OK to leave some seeds, or even all if you want, as they will be pureed by the blender anyway. It depends how good your blender is and how smooth a consistency you want to achieve)
- Remove the core from the tomatoes, give them a coarse chop and add to the bowl
- Strain the seeds over the bowl to add their juice to the mixture.
- Cut the bell pepper open and remove the seeds. Cut some of the bell pepper into a small dice and set aside to use later for garnish. Chop the rest into big chunks and add to the bowl.
- Peel the cucumber. Cut some of the peel into a small dice and set aside with the bell pepper for garnish. Chop the rest into big chunks and add to the bowl.
- Add vinegar, oil, salt and pepper.
- Transfer the contents of the bowl to a blender or food processor (you may have to do this in batches). Blend until smooth. Refrigerate for a couple hours or until chilled and serve cold garnished with the reserved toppings.