Most Spanish dishes taste like sunshine, but the king of Spanish summer dishes has to be gazpacho. The best summer seasonal vegetables, blended into a silky smooth, ice-cold soup – it’s the perfect light lunch on a hot day!
In Spain, tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers have a much longer growing season than in the UK, and so gazpacho can be enjoyed all summer. In the UK, there’s a period of about a month where tomatoes are at their best and that’s prime gazpacho time! You may need to splurge a little on tomatoes for the best results, but I promise you, it’s worth it! Look for large vine-ripened tomatoes that have that distinctive tomato smell at your local farmer’s market or supermarket. Even better, find someone who grows tomatoes and ask very kindly if you can have some (in exchange for some gazpacho, of course!)
Lately, there seems to have been a surge in ‘alternative’ gazpachos, made with strawberries or watermelon. However, we’re going to to show you how to make a classic Spanish gazpacho. As with most Spanish dishes, there are as many variations of gazpacho as there are cooks. Sevi’s mum would add a chunk of Golden Delicious apple to her gazpacho to thicken it. Feel free to tweak our recipe to your taste and let us know your variations in the comments below!
Ingredients (serves 4)
10cm chunk of cucumber (plus small chunk for garnish)
1 green pepper (plus small piece for garnish)
1 clove of garlic
50g crusty bread, such as baguette (plus small piece for garnish)
3tbsp olive oil
3tbsp white vinegar
salt to taste
1. Prepare your ingredients! Cut the tomatoes into large chunks. Peel the cucumber and cut into large pieces. Remove the seeds and white membranes from inside the green pepper, and chop into large pieces. Peel and roughly chop the onion and clove of garlic. Tear the bread into large pieces.
2. Add the prepared vegetables and bread to a food processor, along with the olive oil and vinegar. You may wish to add less vinegar to begin with, and add more once the mixture is blended. Blend until totally smooth. Add salt and extra vinegar to taste.
3. Strain the mixture through a fine sieve into a large bowl. Use a spoon to press as much liquid as possible from the mixture. Take your time – don’t waste any gazpacho!
4. Chill the gazpacho in the fridge for several hours until cold. Serve in large bowls, garnished with finely diced cucumber, green pepper and bread. You could also serve diced tomato or onion as a garnish.