Midweek Delicacy Time: Gazpacho

Gazpacho

While visiting in Austin, TX I was in need of something cooling but still light enough to be active.  Gazpacho is a wonderful celebration of summer. I went with a traditional Spanish version that uses bread. By adding the bread the soup is creamier and deceptively filling.

The key to a good gazpacho is salting. When it comes to salt most recipes just add season to taste. This includes many of the recipes I have listed here. Yet salt brings out the best in food. In the directions below I have at least an hour for the vegetables to marinate before blending. However, I let the bread and vegetables marinate overnight before blending. This served two purposes; the soup gained a depth of flavor that couldn’t be achieved any other way and most importantly I got to rest.

I wanted to close today with a fun interesting fact about salt. Did you know that salt helps us moderate our body heat keeping us from overheating.

Happy eating friends!

Ingrid

Ingredients

Serves 4-6


3 pounds (about 6 medium) ripe Tomatoes, coredIngredients
1 small Cucumber, peeled, halved, and seeded
1 medium Green Bell Pepper, halved, cored and seeded
1 small Red Onion, peeled and halved
2 medium Garlic cloves, peeled and quartered
1 small Serrano Chile, stemmed and halved lengthwise
2 teaspoon Kosher salt, divided
1 slice high-quality white Sandwich bread, torn into 1-inch pieces
1/2 cup extra virgin Olive Oil, plus extra for serving
2 tablespoons Red Wine vinegar, plus extra for serving (substitute with Balsamic Vinegar)
2 tablespoons finely minced Parsley, Chives, or Basil leaves
Ground black pepper

IMG_1181Preparation

  1. Roughly chop 2 pounds of tomatoes, half of cucumber, half of bell pepper, and half of onion and place in large bowl. Add garlic, chile, and 1½ teaspoons salt; toss until well combined. Set aside.
  2. Cut remaining tomatoes, cucumber, and pepper into ¼-inch dice; place vegetables in medium size bowl. Mince remaining onion and add to diced vegetables. Toss with ½ teaspoon salt and transfer to fine-mesh strainer set over medium bowl. Set aside 1 hour.
  3. Transfer drained diced vegetables to medium bowl and set aside. Add bread pieces to exuded liquid (there IMG_1211should be about ¼ cup) and soak 1 minute. Add soaked bread and any remaining liquid to roughly chopped vegetables and toss thoroughly to combine.
  4. Transfer half of vegetable-bread mixture to blender and process 30 seconds. With blender running, slowly drizzle in ¼ cup oil and continue to blend until completely smooth, about 2 minutes. Strain soup through fine-mesh strainer into large bowl, using back of ladle or rubber spatula to press soup through strainer. Repeat with remaining vegetable-bread mixture and 1/4 cup olive oil.
  5. Stir vinegar, minced herb, and half of diced vegetables
    into soup and season to taste with salt and black pepper. Cover and refrigerate overnight or for at least 2 hours to chill completely and develop flavors. Serve, IMG_1224passing remaining diced vegetables, olive oil, sherry vinegar, and black pepper separately.

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