Monday, April 27, 2009

Gazpacho Soup

I really like this soup, the flavors are amazing. Truly one of those things where the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. Also, the fact that everything in it is raw (besides the bread) still strikes me as some kind of magic.
  • About 2lbs very ripe tomatoes
  • 1 large English-style cucumber, peeled and diced
  • Half a baguette - a little stale is considered better. For those avoiding white flour I've used wholewheat bread too and it seems OK.
  • 1 green bell pepper, de-seeded and and chopped reasonably small
  • 1 cup (a little under half a UK pint) extra virgin olive oil
  • 6 scallions (spring onions) roughly chopped
  • 1 - 4 gloves garlic (how much do you like garlic?), roughly chopped
  • 3 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • salt and pepper to taste (probably 1/2 - 1 tsp salt is what you want)
  • 1 pint or less water

Tear the bread into small pieces and leave to soak in 1 cup of water. Immerse the tomatoes in just-boiled water briefly and then "encourage" the skins to split after a few seconds with a sharp knife. Pull them out of the water and remove skins. Chop tomatoes, removing seeds first.

Place chopped tomatoes into a large bowl along with the pepper, cucumber, scallions, garlic, bread and olive oil; stir to combine. Add the white wine vinegar, paprika, salt and pepper. Lastly add remaining water (1 cup). Stir again to fully combine.

Now transfer the contents of the bowl to a blender - you may need to do this in two or three batches due to the volume. Puree the mixture.

Obviously you can use more or less water depending on the consistency you prefer.

Once blended the soup should be chilled in the fridge for at least an hour. This also allows the flavors to really develop too.

To serve you can add a garnish of avocado cubes, diced red peppers, sprinkle of paprika etc.

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