Ok, so I have finally found my favorite recipe for gazpacho – I really don’t even think I need to put an English translation here, do I?! Gazpacho is so certainly Spanish and also probably one of their most famous dishes know all around the world. It’s getting hot, summer is upon us, and when lunch time comes, we want nothing more than something cool and refreshing to fill us up. Well, you have found the perfect recipe!
Living and traveling in Spain for a number of years, I have had my fair share of gazpacho, but this is my all-time favorite recipe! Gazpacho supposedly started as a southern Spanish recipe, but us up here in the north, we like it just as much! What makes this specific recipe so much better than the rest?! Well, I’m a texture person – and by that I mean sometimes weird-textured foods freak me out – but this recipe squashed that problem completely. And you will soon know why!
Gazpacho is not only cool and refreshing, but it is also scrumptiously healthy! Chock-full of fresh veggies and extra virgin olive oil, what else could be better?!
Ok, recipe time!
This recipe for Gazpacho (Cold Veggie Soup) will serve 5-6 people as a first course. Small bowls are perfect serving dishes because it’s more filling that it looks! **Please note that once the gazpacho is made, it should be refrigerated for at least 1.5 hours (so the ingredients have time to meld together).
3 slices of sliced white bread or 1/3 baguette (1-2 days old) – soaked in cold water for 30 minutes before added to the mixture
2 lbs. fresh vine-ripened or Roma tomatoes, in 1/2 inch cubes
1 medium-large green pepper, in 1/2 inch cubes
4 whole roasted red peppers marinated in oil (bottled or canned), in 1/2 inch cubes
1 medium cucumber, in 1/2 inch cubes
2-3 cloves of garlic (depending on how ‘strong’ you like it), diced
1/2 teaspoon of sea salt
1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons of red wine vinegar (white wine vinegar can also be used)
fresh chopped mint
finely chopped green onion
finely chopped red/green pepper
chopped black olives
Soak hardened bread (1-2 days old) in cold water for 30 minutes to soften. I usually put a glass jar on top as well to make the bread sink down in the water.
While the bread is soaking, chop all necessary veggies. Add tomatoes, peppers (red & green), cucumber, garlic and salt to a large mixing bowl.
After 30 minutes, drain the bread and add to the bowl of vegetables. Use an emulsifier (hand blender) to mix all ingredients together until the mixture becomes a ‘soupy’ consistency.
Here comes the part that makes all those funky ‘textures’ go away. Pour mixture through a sieve catching all the ‘extras’ that you don’t want in your soup. Use a wooden spoon to really push the liquid through the sieve. You should be left with a very thick mixture in the sieve. (If you don’t have a sieve handy, you can peel/seed all vegetables beforehand and skip this step.)
Add the extra virgin olive oil and vinegar to the mixture and stir. Yes, it looks like lots of oil, but not to worry, it’s supposed to be that much. That’s why it is essential that you use extra virgin!!
Check the taste to see if it needs a little more salt. Don’t worry too much about the flavor because it will evolve as it chills. Cover and place in the fridge for at least 1.5 hours before serving.
Serve with any of the optional toppings listed above as well as a little splash of olive oil over the top just as you serve it.
Enjoy! What a great summer treat!
Because this soup is so light and refreshing, in Spain, we also costume it as a drink. If you’re headed to a picnic and want to take something healthy to share; stir up this soup, place in a pitcher, pack some plastic cups, and take it along with you! It’s sure to be a hit!