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Saturday, August 29, 2009

Gazpacho: A Perfect Summer Soup

Gazpacho is one of those soups that a lot of people think they don't like just because it's cold. I often serve it at summer dinner parties because it takes five minutes to make, it doesn't heat my kitchen, and it introduces people who wouldn't otherwise try a cold soup to what is probably my most favorite Spanish dish. I recently served it to my parents when they visited along with arroz al horno, and my dad, who is notoriously anti-vegetables (with good reason if you've ever heard the horror stories about my grandmother's food "experiments") actually asked for more!

I make it the way I learned when I lived with a madrileño family in Valencia as an au pair. The grandmother insisted that gazpacho should be strained after blended, but if you use a good food processor and let it go for a while, you don't have to dirty another bowl/utensil. I've also heard of people adding bread to their gazpacho--this may be traditional, but not how my "family" made it. And one last piece of advice: make this only when you can get from-the-garden tomatoes--it makes a huge difference!

¡Buen provecho!

Mindy's Gazpacho
Serves 4

2 large tomatoes, quartered
1/2 large cucumber, cut into a few large pieces
1/2 medium onion, halved
1/2 bell pepper, cut into a few large pieces
1 clove garlic, roughly chopped
A couple of glugs of extra virgin olive oil
1 glug red wine vinegar (start at about a teaspoon and add to taste)
Salt and pepper to taste

Put all of the vegetables into a food processor and process until smooth. Add the olive oil, red wine vinegar and salt and pepper and whir again. Taste to see if you need to add any one vegetable to balance the flavor. (But don't get too crazy here...the flavors marry over the course of the chilling, so it will balance out some on its own.) Chill for at least an hour and up to a day. It tastes better the longer you can chill it. Serve with homemade croutons.

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Sam Hoffer / My Carolina Kitchen August 29, 2009 at 7:28 PM  

Love gazpacho and yours looks fabulous. Very refreshing.

Sarah August 29, 2009 at 10:36 PM  

Beautiful mindy! Looks simple but elegant

Chef Fresco August 29, 2009 at 11:38 PM  

I have always been wary of cold soup too for some reason. I really have been wanting to try gazpacho though!

Mindy August 30, 2009 at 9:35 AM  

Thanks, Carolina and Sarah!

Chef Fresco--you should try this...it's so simple and amazingly flavorful!

Lori August 30, 2009 at 3:49 PM  

Your gazpacho looks beautiful! I've never attempted to make it myself, but I do enjoy it from time to time. How great to have all that firsthand knowledge and an authentic recipe!

Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction August 30, 2009 at 7:58 PM  

Sounds very tasty! I'm always happy for new recipes to try with the cucumbers and tomatoes I keep getting from our CSA!

Chef E August 30, 2009 at 10:37 PM  

This is one of those things that if it is on a menu I will order it, just so I can try someone elses recipe...I would do the same here...I made a cherry one while you were traveling...simply one of my favorite summer time foods!

Wonderful to have you back blogging dear!

Chef E August 30, 2009 at 10:38 PM  

This is one of those things that if it is on a menu I will order it, just so I can try someone elses recipe...I would do the same here...I made a cherry one while you were traveling...simply one of my favorite summer time foods!

Wonderful to have you back blogging dear!

Erica August 31, 2009 at 10:22 AM  

I love gazpacho....your recipe sounds great.

Anonymous,  September 1, 2009 at 8:39 AM  

I've been craving gazpacho lately! I'm SO adding this to my springpad

Laura in Paris September 4, 2009 at 3:09 PM  

So funny, I also served Gazpacho to my mother when she came to visit, and she thought that a cold soup could be no good .. and she LOVED it.

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