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!
3 pounds (about 6 medium) ripe Tomatoes, cored
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
- 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.
- 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.
- Transfer drained diced vegetables to medium bowl and set aside. Add bread pieces to exuded liquid (there should be about ¼ cup) and soak 1 minute. Add soaked bread and any remaining liquid to roughly chopped vegetables and toss thoroughly to combine.
- 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.
- 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, passing remaining diced vegetables, olive oil, sherry vinegar, and black pepper separately.